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Prince Memorial Greenway in Santa Rosa reopened at night

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A section of Santa Rosa’s Prince Memorial Greenway, closed at night since May 28, has reopened after completion of work to clean up contaminated soils.

Contractors working for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. have been using heavy equipment as they replaced existing soil with clean fill in the landscaped areas along the north side of the greenway near the Santa Rosa Avenue entrance, said PG&E spokeswoman Brittany McKannay.

A portion of Santa Rosa's Prince Memorial Greenway had been closed at nights since May 28 for PG&E to perform a toxic cleanup.

A portion of Santa Rosa’s Prince Memorial Greenway had been closed at nights since May 28 for PG&E to perform a toxic cleanup.

For safety reasons, the company closed the section of the greenway between Santa Rosa Avenue and A Street in the evenings. The narrower path on the south side of Santa Rosa Creek remained open throughout the work, which took place between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The remaining landscaping work will continue for about two more weeks, but the greenway won’t need to be closed again, McKannay said.

The work was conducted not only along the greenway but in the landscaped areas of the adjacent four-story office building at 111 Santa Rosa Ave. That property is the site of a former PG&E manufactured gas plant which, when it was closed in 1924, left behind large volumes of toxic residue such as coal tar.

The utility has been working for years to clean up the site under various cleanup orders issued by the North Coast Water Quality Control Board.

The latest phase of the work involves removal of contaminated soil, replacement with a layer of clean fill, and the planting of new landscaping, McKannay said.

Earlier environmental studies of the property showed the soils to be contaminated with heavy metals and petroleum products. A total of 1,000 tons of soil was targeted for removal, according to reports.

City officials said they were aware PG&E was working in the area, but didn’t know the greenway would be blocked off for the work.

“They told us about the more intense work they were going to be doing there at night, but there was no mention of closure of the trail,” City Manager Kathy Millison said. “That concerns me.”

After the extent of the contamination on the property was publicized earlier this year, PG&E officials pledged to work harder to keep the city apprised of its cleanup efforts.

McKannay said the company did inform the city’s public works department of the closure, but public works officials said they were unaware of the activity.

“I asked around here and nobody knew about it,” said Julia Gonzalez, the department’s marketing and outreach coordinator.

Gonzalez called the greenway a “primary commute corridor for a lot of people,” the closure of which should have been better communicated, she said.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. OnTwitter @citybeater.





4 Responses to “Prince Memorial Greenway in Santa Rosa reopened at night”

  1. Steveguy says:

    They should plant some roses, honeysuckle and lavender to cover the urine, feces and garbage smell.

    Isn’t that what ‘planners’ are supposed to do ?

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Lets be Reasonable says:

    Oh, let’s blame it on the non “good” poor people, when the story is all about cleaning up an industrial toxic mess created decades ago – you know, before the dreaded EPA started butting in…

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  3. Dave Madigan says:

    “Snarky” said:

    “Hypodermic needles, human feces, dirty discarded clothing and sleeping bags, empty alcoholic containers, and the usual mode of homeless transportation… the stolen bicycles…. all pretty much scare away good people.”

    That sounds like business as usual in Downtown Santa Rosa!

    Those sort of things are not only found on the pathway. They are found all over Downtown.

    I miss the good old days of pulling into my parking space only to kick empty beer bottles out of the way. Then, I’d go to get on the elevator at the 7th Street parking lot and enjoy the smell leftover from it being used as a bathroom.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  4. Snarky says:

    From what I understand in speaking with other people AND from observing the greenway from my office window, ….

    The homeless camps are what contaminated the entire area. The bureaucrats will limit their chants to non-human contamination.

    Nobody really feels safe walking, skating, riding, jogging during the day through the downtown area and particularly in the evening.

    Hypodermic needles, human feces, dirty discarded clothing and sleeping bags, empty alcoholic containers, and the usual mode of homeless transportation… the stolen bicycles…. all pretty much scare away good people.

    While walking recently near my office, I witnessed the disturbing site of a tourist couple… who had wandered down onto the bike trail from their hotel…. and the look on their faces said it all. They were NOT returning to “wine country” Santa Rosa.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

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