Highway 1 Bridge Replacement over San Pedro Creek and Creek Widening Project: Biological Assessments, Wetland Delineations, CEQA Initial Study Addendum, Natural Environment Study (NES), Multiple Permit Applications

Pacifica, San Mateo County, 2009 – Present

The City of Pacifica is sponsoring the replacement of the Caltrans Highway 1 bridge over San Pedro Creek in the Linda Mar neighborhood, near Pacifica State Beach. The 1955 bridge does not meet current seismic or safety standards and floods during a 100-yr storm event. San Pedro Creek supports wetland habitat and two federally listed species, the steelhead and the California red-legged frog. There is a recorded cultural resources site nearby. Protection of the steelhead is administered by the NMFS, and protection of the frog is administered by the USFWS, so the project required two Biological Assessments and two separate Biological Opinions. The project is overseen by Caltrans, which will ultimately own the bridge, and requires permits from the USACE, California Coastal Commission, CDFG, and RWQCB. The City was responsible for CEQA compliance, and Caltrans completed the NEPA document.

The USACE and Pacifica worked together to widen San Pedro Creek in 2005 to increase flood capacity. At that time funding was not available to widen the bridge, so that portion of the creek widening project was postponed. Although the original proposal was to replace the bridge without entering the creek channel, the USACE indicated in 2012 that it no longer had the funds to complete the widening project. The bridge would not be adequately protected from flooding without the additional creek widening, so creek widening was added to the project description in 2012.

TRA completed the two Biological Assessments, and worked through the consultation process with Caltrans. TRA completed draft frog and fish relocation plans. TRA completed a wetland delineation and prepared two reports, one for the USACE and one for the Coastal Commission because the two agencies use different parameters. TRA also prepared an addendum to the CEQA Initial Study that was completed in 2005.TRA then prepared the applications for the CDFG Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement, the RWQCB Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification, the USACE Clean Water Act Section 404 Pre-construction Notification, and the California Coastal Commission Coastal Development Permit, and responded to comments. All of the permits were issued in time. TRA is currently assisting Pacifica with project implementation.

Lead Agency: City of Pacifica, Caltrans; Client: Wilsey Ham