It’s All About the Birds (and frogs and turtles and fish)
Few people riding Caltrain down the SF Bay Peninsula toward Gilroy even notice Los Gatos Creek as the train rumbles over it. Yet the creek is home to many species of concern. Nesting birds (like egrets and black phoebes), California red-legged frog, steelhead, chinook salmon, and western pond turtle eke out a precarious existence in the creek and its riparian habitat. Thanks to a successful bridge replacement, their existence is now a little easier.
With the rail bridge at the end of its useful life, replacing it could have an impact on the wildlife. From pre-construction and construction biological monitoring services, through permit compliance issues during the construction, we monitored each species and worked to carefully remove fish from 600 feet of the channel during dewatering. The key was being onsite every work day to provide worker training; check for species presence; and monitor nesting birds, wildlife exclusion fencing, and the dewatering system. We stepped up to modify the restoration design to meet field conditions; and then to oversee installation of the riparian restoration plantings and monitor them for permit compliance.
The project was honored for construction management by the Construction Management Association of America.