A new park is coming to Oakland near the Bay Bridge

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The vacant land and old construction debris Bay Bridge drivers see as they exit on the Oakland side will be transformed into a vibrant new park over the next decade.

Local transit agencies and East Bay Regional parks took the first step by signing a key lease deal today for an historic building near the Bridge's biking and walking trail.

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"This will be a hub for an entrance to the trail, right here in this building. So this becomes an entrance point to the park," said Robert Doyle of East Bay Regional Parks.

The building is a decades-old Caltrans maintenance facility with a distinctive saw-toothed roof that is being renovated into an event and visitors center.

East Bay Regional Parks signed a contract leasing it, and 2000-feet of land all the way down to the water's edge.

Caltrans District 4 Director Bijan Sartipi says it's part of the agency's mission to protect the environment and protect historic property.

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"Making sure the history of this building, of this part of the bay is provided and passed on to the next generation," said Sartipi.

The agencies released an artist's concept of what the park will look like when it is completed in about a decade.

"So you have this on one end, the pier on the other end and in the middle will be trails, picnicking, probably some art sculpture," said Doyle.

Those old piers that used to hold up the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge may play a role in the park project as well.

Most were demolished, but, they didn't destroy them all. Caltrans, East Bay Regional Parks and the city of Oakland are in talks about using the five remaining piers to extend the park out over the bay

"It's one of the few places you can get on San Francisco Bay, look at the birds, watch the port ships come in, have a lunch, go for a walk, go for a bike ride. So it really is a huge opportunity" said Doyle.

An expensive one too, it's projected to cost anywhere from $30 to $100 million. Now that the lease is signed, the hunt for funding begins.
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