Bair Island Restoration, San Mateo County

Photo by Ducks Unlimited
Crews restored the 2,600-acre former salt pond in the San Francisco Bay.
Photo by Moffatt & Nichol
The project included a new pedestrian bridge.

Workers had to contend with bay muds, limited site access and protected wildlife species during the tidal restoration project for three islands comprising Bair Island, a 2,600-acre former salt pond within the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge—the largest urban wildlife refuge in the U.S. Contractors carefully phased the work to lessen effects of sedimentation and currents on local shipping channels and recreational sites. Using low-impact equipment, the construction team completed the work during short-duration tidal windows. To avoid spending $8 million for the 1 million cu yd of fill needed for the restoration, the team partnered with local contractors and allowed them to dump clean fill from their projects at Bair Island rather than hauling it to a distant landfill.

Key Players

Contractor Ducks Unlimited

Owner Fish & Wildlife Service

Lead Design Moffatt & Nichol

Subcontractor Dixon Marine Services Inc.; R.E. Staite Engineering Inc.; Pacific States Environmental Contractors