The 2017 Environmental Impact Report (EIR) assumed a five-phase construction plan in which no two contiguous (adjacent) segments of the Bay Trail would be closed at one time. Subsequent to certification of that EIR, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the regulatory agency with permitting jurisdiction over the Project, by issuance of its permit in December 2019 allowed the entire Bay Trail to be closed in a single phase. The BCDC approval relied on both the 2017 EIR and its own staff report analyzing conformance with the Bay Plan (which is a certified regulatory document under CEQA).
The BCDC staff report states that, “Given that the project can be phased only to the extent that existing access points line up with City approved haul routes for construction equipment access, completing the project in a single phase will be the shortest and most cost effective phasing alternative. A single closure will also be the safest and least disruptive to the community because it will set the detour routes for the term of the project.” Per Section 21080.5(d) and Section 15251(h) of the CEQA Guidelines, BCDC’s certified Bay Plan exempts the BCDC from the requirement to prepare an EIR on its actions and instead may rely on its staff report as the “functional equivalent” of an EIR under CEQA Guidelines Section 15252 in addition to the EIR.
Consistent with the BCDC Permit, to achieve cost, timing, and accessibility efficiencies, and to maximize public safety the contractor has developed a Bay Trail closure plan (subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, weather, or other factors).