Concrete wall along Sausal Creek - Oakland CA
In 1939-1940, the Work Projects Administration (WPA) channelized Sausal Creek as part of creating Dimond Park. The work consisted of building concrete walls to stop erosion, installing grade control step-downs, and putting culverts to let roads pass over the creek. WPA stamps are still visible in places.
The work extends from the Dimond Recreation Area in the lower park up past the Leimert Street bridge, where the creek flows out of a canyon in the Oakland Hills.
Channelization was a popular method of flood control in the middle of the 20th, much promoted by the Army Corps of Engineers, which has fallen out of favor for various good reasons: it shifts flooding downstream, damages the waterway for fish and wildlife, and is often undermined and destroyed by floods. Plus, it’s ugly.
At least, Sausal Creek still runs open through the length of Dimond Park, since so many other East Bay creeks have disappeared into culverts and under houses and streets over the years. A recent restoration project in the recreation area has returned the creek into a more natural state.
Project originally submitted by David Colburn on April 20, 2009.
Additional contributions by Noah Stewart, Richard Walker.
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