The historical project of revitalizing Piedmont Avenue was a remarkable journey into the past. Piedmont Avenue’s original design was the work of the visionary Frederick Olmstead in 1864. This historic thoroughfare stretches through Piedmont, Oakland, Berkely, and beyond.
From the beginning, Bellecci made its mission clear in preserving the essence of Olmstead’s original design. However, navigating the intricate landscape of sloping surfaces, obstructing power poles, and dissipated curbs posed difficulties, especially as it pertained to ADA compliancy.
Collaborating closely with the city, we presented six different design options. Among them, one stood out—an innovative approach featuring amphitheater-style stairs that harmoniously integrated with the existing historic wall, which needed to remain. The wall’s height remained unchanged, allowing the sidewalk level to remain at its high level. Additionally, we incorporated dedicated bike lanes and scooter parking, catering to the ever-evolving landscape of transportation preferences.
To further expand on our mission of perseverance, Bellecci carefully recreated Olmstead’s original radius, adding multi-modal improvements and providing the space to accommodate the modernizations of their students. All while incorporating illuminating pedestrian pathway lights and beautifully crafted granite caps for functionality and allure.
Addressing the infrastructure needs, we embarked on the installation of a vital sanitary sewer line. The stadium’s basement, extending deep underground to its locker rooms, necessitated a carefully engineered connection. This new sewer line required specialized piping and meticulous backfilling, ultimately connecting to the Bancroft Way sewer line. Securing the permit for this connection was a momentous achievement, eliminating the need for an extensive pipeline reaching all the way to the campus—a solution that would have overwhelmed the existing infrastructure.
This project was a testament to the harmony between heritage preservation and modernization. Incorporating modern amenities into this historical roadway manifests both timeless design and accessibility for all.
The California Memorial Stadium is a renowned fixture on the UC Berkeley campus. The athletic stadium underwent a massive, multi-faceted $400 million renovation. This planning and design venture required years of joint effort from the designers and the university to meet the challenges presented by this major seismic design and historic upgrade as the Stadium is located directly on the Hayward Fault Line. The project also features the Student-Athlete High Performance Center (SAHPC), which is built three-stories below ground.
The iconic Memorial Stadium’s structural design features independent stadium segments which allow each part of the stadium to move independently during an earthquake. Despite replacing the majority of the stadium, the project preserved the original oval shape (reminiscent of a Roman Coliseum) and restored the historic exterior façade.
With 60,000 seats, the stadium houses extensive amenity spaces for athletes and fans, including a 350-foot long press box. The two-story press box and club levels offer splendid views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate.
The innovative Simpson Center that houses thirteen university teams, blends seamlessly into the hillside with a public plaza atop, that frees up space within the stadium. The project prioritized sustainability, which speaks directly to the core values of Bellecci. Of the total construction debris, 99% was ultimately recycled and the project included the replanting of 134 trees. New bleachers were installed, made from recyclable aluminum.
Bellecci is proud to have been the project civil engineers for utilities, demolition, street improvements, site improvements, and hydrology/hydraulics for this amazing project to ensure a seismically safe, state-of-the-art experience for athletes, students, and fans alike. Bellecci served on the project team for four years and was instrumental member of the design team during both design and construction phase of the project.
Alameda County Public Works Agency hired our team for the Ashland community’s roadway design improvement project, extending from 162nd Avenue Southeast to Interstate 238. Our extensive experience with complete street projects made us the ideal choice for the job. Despite many design challenges and existing sidewalk utilities, we were able to complete the corridor improvements with street trees, art work elements, seat pods, accessible transit stops, accessible curb ramps, lighting, storm water treatment areas, while adding protected and buffered bike lanes and mid-block crossings for safe intersection crossings in conformance with Ashland and Cherryland Business District Specific Plan requirements.
One of the most significant challenges we encountered during the project was coordinating with Alameda County Transit to improve bus stops while creating protected bicycle lanes behind them. We also had to move water mains and work with the sewer district to locate street light poles. We also collaborated with the Arts Commission to incorporate decorative art panels into the medians. Preserving existing parking along this major commercial corridor was another design challenge we had to meet while creating a protected and buffered bike lane.
The street was previously an old Caltrans route, and the County took ownership of this street after Caltrans relinquished the rights. The county and design team presented at the community meetings during the early design stages of this project, which featured multimodal transportation improvements, Class IV bike lanes, high-visibility crosswalks and lighting, shaded trees, and traffic signal improvements. Public art was also included to enhance the street’s beauty.
Accessibility along the shoulder was also a major concern, and we had to work with existing utilities to accommodate the community’s desire for a protected bike lane and provide infrastructure improvements. We also installed stormwater planters to capture water runoff from paved areas for stormwater treatment before discharging into the creek.
Our team worked closely with a landscape architect to locate and build seat pods that the community actively uses. Our experience with complete street projects and downtown beautification helped us achieve our goals and make the area more appealing.
In conclusion, the project was a great success, and we were proud to be a part of this unique Alameda County Public Works Agency project. Our experience in this project has given us valuable knowledge that we can apply to similar projects in the future.
Bellecci had the privilege of contributing to the design and development of the magnificent Fallon Sports Park in the City of Dublin, California. Our role encompassed the utility design, specifically focusing on drainage improvements, and to support BFS Landscape Architects, the primary contractor for the project. This project aimed to create a haven for sports enthusiasts and families, offering a diverse range of facilities spanning over twelve acres.
This expansive park field development included two baseball fields, volleyball courts, a cricket field, cricket batting cages, and a playground area. The distinctiveness of this project, however, is in the cricket field, which introduced a unique flavor to the recreational landscape. To comply with the cricket pitch specifications, we worked in close collaboration with the architect and developed a design that satisfied the requirements for U 14 cricket matches
Bellecci’s expertise and comprehensive understanding of complex utility design made us the ideal fit for this project. Our team meticulously coordinated with partners to ensure seamless execution, delivering results that exceeded expectations. From handling drainage improvements to addressing the unique needs of each facility, we left no stone unturned in our pursuit of excellence.
Throughout the project, our collaboration with the community and clients was received with support and appreciation. The US Cricket Association, in particular, commended this project in promoting the sport and facilitating a first-class cricket experience.
Bellecci’s commitment to excellence and our ability to adapt to unique challenges sets us apart in the realm of utility design for recreational spaces. By seamlessly integrating infrastructure with the natural environment, we transform visions into remarkable realities.
The project on Historic Murphy Avenue in Sunnyvale, which covers the restaurant district from Evelyn Avenue to Washington Avenue, is a source of great pride for Bellecci. We had the privilege of enhancing the street that runs through the city restaurant district and the parking lot near the rear, making significant improvements to enhance the restaurant district into a plaza for the community to gather.
Our primary focus was the public-facing area at the front of the district. The city commissioned us to restore the classic downtown charm of the district by transforming the current asphalt road into a beautiful brick or paved street. This revitalization effort aimed to create a cohesive aesthetic with brick sidewalks, elevating the allure of over twenty businesses, predominantly restaurants, that define this district. The presence of several utilities and boxes, including electrical and sewer boxes, made durability and aesthetics critical factors to consider.
Initially, the city proposed concrete sidewalks complemented by brick streets. However, considering the time and cost involved in curing concrete, we devised an innovative solution. We suggested setting pavers on top of a specially designed asphalt sub-slab, significantly reducing construction time. To implement this, we removed the existing asphalt and lowered it by six inches, providing a more flexible foundation. With the asphalt base layer, businesses could remain open during the construction phase. This approach minimized excavation, accelerated curing time, and proved to be a cost-effective alternative.
We were deeply committed to the project, extending our efforts far beyond the surface level. We meticulously replaced every lateral sewer and water service line to ensure optimal functionality in every building. Additionally, we carefully graded the corridor, creating a zone that prioritizes ADA compliance while also being friendly to pedestrians. Our efforts included the meticulous relocation and integration of utilities to blend them seamlessly into the sidewalk to promote visual harmony.
Our topmost priority during the project was to ensure that the businesses’ operation remained uninterrupted. To ease concerns and maintain the trust of our clients, we incorporated custom-designed temporary wooden bridges adorned with colorful signs. These eye-catching, color-coded bridges reassured business owners that their establishments would remain open throughout the construction process.
This project stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional results while preserving the character of cherished urban spaces.
The Security Self-Storage project in the vibrant City of El Cerrito, California, involved transforming a long-abandoned OSH building into a self-storage facility, while the previous parking lot is planned to create an affordable housing complex that will satisfy residents for years to come.
Our greatest challenge was removing the seventy-eight-foot-long retaining wall and substantial slope on the east side of the building, which crossed into a neighboring property, while minding the client’s strained budget.. To overcome this challenge, collaboration with property owners was necessary, resulting in an elevation differential to accommodate required Emergency Vehicle Access (EVA). This change ensured safe and convenient vehicle travel on the site.
Working within the constraints of the existing layout and driven by space limitations, we adopted a phased development approach. Bellecci proposed temporary asphalt patches with a 5 percent grade to permit fire truck access during the interim phasing of the storage facility being open to the public and residential projects beginning construction, all while factoring in permanent stormwater treatment costs.
To comply with stormwater treatment standards, we incorporated bioretention facilities and permeable pavers into the design. We also had to adjust existing site grades to meet higher elevations and drive-up accessibility for easy movement of heavy objects and to ensure compliancy with ADA requirements.
In close collaboration with the landscape architect, we aimed to strike a balance by fulfilling the requirements of C3, and the City, all while staying within the client’s budget. Determining the right landscape area for irrigation was crucial for both compliance and cost-effectiveness.
External storage units were also added around the perimeter of the OSH building. This innovative concept revitalized previously abandoned spaces, effectively converting them into functional self-storage units.
Bellecci is strongly committed to overcoming challenges through creative solutions. This commitment combined with our expertise and willingness to collaborate allowed us to transform this space into a gateway into the City.