Demolition Underway at Alameda Point

Photos by Richard Bangert &nbsp&nbsp The taxiway at the northeast corner of Seaplane Lagoon reaches toward San Francisco in a June fog bank. Alameda Partners will oversee the construction of Phase 1 of the waterfront park on this taxiway. Workers recently removed the concrete pavement here. They are crushing it for reuse under new streets and as base material under new exterior structures and surfaces.

Demolition Underway at Alameda Point

Developer finding ways to recycle building material

Heavy equipment was already demolishing buildings and pavement as the ceremonial groundbreaking took place at Alameda Point on May 23. Workers had already leveled many of the structures. They had also separated remains into distinct piles of concrete, asphalt, structural steel, sheet metal and rebar for recycling.

“Everything that can be recycled is being recycled,” said Joe Ernst, president of srmErnst, one of the Alameda Point Partners group busy at Site A, the first step in transforming Alameda Point into a mixed-use neighborhood. “In our bidding we pushed for everything to be separated and recycled, with the value of recycled material offsetting demolition cost. All ground asphalt and concrete will remain onsite and be used under streets and on exterior concrete structures and surfaces.”

Workers have already removed the pavement on Seaplane Lagoon where Phase 1 of the waterfront park will be built. “The next major operation in this area will be ground improvement in a 25-foot-wide band at the back side of the bulkhead,” said Ernst. 

“This will consist of soil cement mixing to a depth of 15 to 20 feet. Placing cement in the ground densifies the soil, significantly mitigating liquefaction risk which can put significant pressure on the bulkhead during a major earthquake and cause it to collapse. 

“The bulkhead will effectively become a veneer,” said Ernst. “This is necessary because the Navy removed a lot of material from the front of the bulkhead when they remediated the lagoon.” The original bulkhead design relied on fill nearly to the top of the wall to brace it and offset pressure from the other side. The Navy did not replace this after removing all of the contaminated soil in the lagoon next to the bulkhead. 

Completion of the new infrastructure for phase one of Site A is expected within the next two years, with vertical construction of the new buildings commencing by year’s end. The first residential units are projected for completion in the second half of 2019. The project will create approximately 2,500 direct construction jobs over the life of the project and serve as a catalyst for thousands of future jobs.

Once completed, the 68-acre master-planned development will create 600 market-rate residential units, 200 affordable residential units and up to 600,000 square feet of commercial space, 15 acres of parks and public open space. In addition, new transportation services and facilities will include a new ferry terminal on Seaplane Lagoon.


Richard Bangert    So far, Alameda Point Partners has been seen recycling concrete, structural steel, sheet metal, rebar and asphalt out of the former Alameda Naval Air Station’s World War II-era structures.

Richard Bangert posts stories and photos about environmental issues on his blog at

Editor’s note: The city will be rerouting traffic to accomodate work on Site A