Baylands boardwalk closes due to unsafe conditions

City to request funding to repair or replace decaying boardwalk

The Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center Boardwalk, which runs between the center and the bay, has been closed due to unsafe structural conditions, John Aiken, the executive director of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, said Thursday.

Aiken said that a support piling underneath the boardwalk, which was built in 1969, separated from the structure earlier this week. This is the second separation of this nature.

"There was one that made (the boardwalk) sort of springy before," he said. "So now, we're concerned that it may be a structural issue."

He said that staff has been doing repairs on the boardwalk every year for decades.

"It's a bit of a catch-up battle -- the weather and the marine environment and the marsh gets ahead of us," he said. "So we are evaluating this current structural failure and we are putting together a plan to have it very formally evaluated and figure out what the best course of action is in terms of larger scale repairs or replacement."

Aiken said it's too early to tell when this might happen or how much it will cost, but he's currently working with the city's Planning Department and Department of Public Works to evaluate out what the best route forward might be.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 13, 2014 at 9:41 pm

I walked out on that thing several months ago ... and it is really unsafe. The boards are worn out, cracking, creaking, some have holes in them, some are missing.

I sure hope they will repair this and make it so again people can walk out and see the bay and marshes.

When I was a kid we used to be able to go out to the left and right out to the electrical towers. That was nice. We really need to see this area as a valuable city asset and let people use it and enjoy it.

They should also fix the Interpretive Center which is closed and which has been falling apart and is a mess too.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 14, 2014 at 5:41 am

I believe the Interpretive Center is still open 1-4pm Thursdays and 12-4pm Sundays. I've noticed decay of the boardwalk but have not seen anything falling apart at the birdhouse. Swallows are messy -- just another nature lesson.

Another thread on this topic was initiated by a resident a day earlier, with a dozen comments that indicate support for fixing and reopening the boardwalk -- Web Link

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I often trek around the Baylands and the Boardwalk is always part of the trek. It has great memories for me of when my kids were small as well as the ability to see nature close up and the Bay too. Although I know it has been left to rot it should never, ever have been allowed to get into this condition.

What a shame if we have lost it in our lifetimes.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2014 at 10:27 am

This lovely Saturday morning has inspired me to ask the question as to whether the Interpretive Center could be converted into a coffee/brunch/lunch place? Perhaps just weekends, but maybe more. Shoreline has Michaels, couldn't Palo Alto have a place too?

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

This is a much better place to spend the money that is proposed to spend on City Hall.

I rarely need to go to City Hall, but I often spend time at the Baylands. It needs serious money spent on it now.

This is somewhere many Palo Alto residents plus many visitors come to on a regular basis. Families spend time here - how many families go to City Hall for a fun activity? Can we see wildlife in City Hall? Can we get fresh air and exercise in City Hall?

This place needs desperate attention, and you are going to blow it on a few signs that are not necessary.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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