Contra Costa Center Transit Village
October 2, 2010

Click here for full-size panoramic image of the view from Jones Street at the foot of the Schroder Bridge

At close to 10:00 AM, I arrived on the BART train at Pleasant Hill Station (soon to be renamed "Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Center").

Ribbon Cutting at the Robert I. Schroder Bridge

I had to hurry over to the Iron Horse Trail double-time to catch the beginning of the speeches marking the opening of the Robert I. Schroder Bridge, a silvery suspension bridge built recently over Treat Boulevard to provide continuity of motion to users of the Iron Horse Trail, a long walking and bicycling trail from Northern Concord to Pleasanton. Following are videos of the speeches.

The first three are short clips as I got myself positioned.

This last clip is longer, 16 minutes and around 8MB in size.

Here is my clip of the actual ribbon cutting to officially open the bridge...

And here are the ceremonial first crossers after the ribbon cutting.

And finally, a clip returning from the bridge back to the transit village. Toward the end you can see two of the mechanical engineers from Fard Engineers, Max Saiidnia and Kevin Shen."

Main Presentation

Back at the center courtyard, I snap a pic of the crew at the information table.

We were called to gather under a tent, with electronic music as background music....

Main Opening Presentation

This video clip is 51 minutes long and 22MB in size

Misting Fountain Activation

Courtyard Pictures

The Iron Horse Trail

Walking back to the northern foot of the new Schroder Bridge, I found Phil Singer, the landscape architect for the portion of the Iron Horse Trail extending north from the bridge. Along with a couple other people, I joined Mr. Singer for a short tour up the trail.

Phil explained that because there are huge numbers of utility pipes and cables in the ground under the trail (including a petroleum pipeline indicated by highly visible signs, the vegetation had to be short-rooted, no trees other than ones which had already been there.

The surface earth was raised between the trail and Jones Street on one stretch in order to create a sense of the trail being apart from the automobile traffic. The trail itself is intended partly to be a border between the mechanized life of the BART station and the roadways to the west, and the wooded residential neighborhoods to the east.

Different species of flowering shrubs have been planted along the trail, and a few existing oak trees are evident but separated from the new vegetation. Phil explains that the trees which have lived for a long time in and adapted to dry soil will literally drown if suddenly given irrigation.

As we progress, Phil points out that in addition to the hard-paved biking trail, there is also a soft trail for walkers. A wild oak stands by this trail, squirrels frolic, and a few solitary poppies grow in the median between the two paths.

As I returned back to the transit village, a Bay Area Rapid Transit train crossed over the trail, slowing for its stop at Pleasant Hill station.

I then continued, taking a few shots of the trail from the view of a walker headed southbound to the bridge.

The Tour of the Building

The building tour began at the ground level of the parking garage, meant for employees and customers. Underground levels, with controlled entry, are provided for residents.

Next, we were shown the fitness center, equipped with what looked like a pretty full complement of Matrix machines, and a small hardwood floored alcove for martial arts, dancing, or other floor exercise.

Air conditioning ducts are visible, which improves the system's efficiency, interspersed with attractively curved metal mesh baffles.

Next we got a short peek at the swimming pool and hot tub.

A short trip through a corridor with metal wall decorations in the shape of trees and roots....

... brings us to the social deck, equipped with an outdoor fireplace and cooking ranges.

Residential Model

Next, we were shown inside a residential model. Here are the pictures.

Living Room (with an alcove for a stacked clothes washer and dryer)

This project isn't quite off the grid, though it is highly energy efficient. Still, the sentiment is noted.

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

Second Bedroom

Common Bathroom


Finally, on the way out, we see the first residential floor corridor has an overlook onto the ground floor lobby.

Walking the Robert I. Schroder Bridge

A sequence of photos walking from the north to the south end of the bridge, to the southbound trailhead, then back alongside the bridge to Treat Boulevard.

Beginning southward.

Looking through the protective mesh at the top of the bridge over Treat Boulevard

Looking back from the southern half of the bridge

A couple hundred feet south of the bridge, as Jones Street curves from southbound to westbound, the Iron Horse Trail continues southward on its way to Pleasanton.

Returning to the bridge from the south...

... a plaque is stationed.

Switching to the sidewalk running to the east and parallel to the bridge, I see a man walking his dogs southbound.


A battery of ground-planted floodlamps stand ready to dramatically light up the bridge when night falls.

Views from Treat Boulevard

Last Looks from the Path to the BART Station

Going Home

A few parting shots from the BART train as it departs the station, headed northward for home.

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