News from the Port of Redwood City

  • News
  • by BPC Staff
  • on March 14, 2013
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port wharf rendition
Artist rendition of completed wharves modernization project
This is our second issue in our new format. I hope you like the change.  Last issue we started with an update on the important wharves 1 & 2 modernization project.  I am pleased to report even more progress since then.

Following demolition of the more than 60 year old wooden wharves, 112 concrete pilings were driven in December. The next major phase of construction for Wharves 1 & 2 is the installation of the pre-stressed concrete wharf deck. The new wharf will be 426 feet long and 70-78 feet wide and will be connected to shore by two concrete truck ramps.

The $16 million project is scheduled to be completed and in operation by December 2013.

In relationship with the project, the Port will be working with an engineering consulting firm to procure regulatory permits, prepare public works contract documents, and provide construction management oversight services for the Marina Bandstand Public Access Improvement Project.

The Port retained landscape architecture firm, Adrienne Wong Associates, to assist the Port in determining an appropriate location for public access improvements, which are a condition of the wharf modernization by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC).

The Port will be completing public access improvements at the Port’s bandstand, fishing pier, and adjoining shoreline pathway areas in accordance with BCDC’s Permit. Improvements include: 1) removing barriers for disabled visitors at the fishing pier and adjoining walkway and reconstruction of barrier free facilities; and 2) redesign and construction of a barrier free pathway to enhance its ‘connectivity’ to adjacent public areas.


Mike Giari, Executive Director
Port of Redwood City
Bair Island Restoration Nears Completion
Fishing Line Recycling
Port Supports Earth Day Event
Increased Shipping Activity
Port Supports Local Youth Programs
Remembering Commissioner Paul Keckley
Save the Date for PortFest

Bair Island Marsh Restoration 

Project Nears Completion 
Bair Island
Bair Island

The large scale and environmentally significant Bair Island Marsh restoration project is nearing completion.


“The Port Commission, through the Bair Island Task Force, formed an active partnership with the City, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, and numerous other stakeholders,” said Port Commission Chairman Dick Dodge, “to use dredged material from the Port’s navigation channel to help restore the marsh.”


In December 2008, the first dredged material for “beneficial reuse” was pumped onto Bair Island. Eventually over 250,000 cubic yards of bay mud from maintenance dredging of the Port’s channel was barged to Bair Island, rather than being dumped in the Bay or the ocean. From the barge it was pumped and added to trucked-in fill to raise the elevation of Bair Island in order to foster the creation of tidal marsh.


The 3000-acre Bair Island is actually split up into 3 separate islands. The smallest is Inner Bair Island which comes right up against Highway 101. Across Smith Slough is Middle Bair Island which is more than twice as big. Finally, on the other side of windy Corkscrew Slough, is Outer Bair Island which extends out into the open Bay.


Construction crews have already breached the old levees on Outer Bair Island allowing Bay tides to come back in. This winter after installation of two “flow constrictors” in the two major sloughs, crews breached levees on Middle Bair Island. The flow constrictors are intended to force some of the increased tidal flow out through the badly silted Steinberger Slough and reduce the velocity of the water to protect the nearby Pete’s Harbor Marina and the Port of Redwood City. Work is nearly finished to add soil and raise the height of Inner Bair Island, which had subsided over many years, so that it can be breached and restored to a healthy tidal marsh.


Pilings were recently driven for the new pedestrian bridge that will connect Uccelli Blvd. with the levee on Inner Bair Island to “reopen” it to public access. The bridge should be completed by April/May 2013 and USF&W will be able to allow partial public access to the levee. Following breeching of the Inner Bair Island levee in the late summer or early fall, full public access, along with interpretive signs, scenic overlooks, new parking lot and restrooms, is expected by the end of the year. The new trail and waterways will provide opportunities for visitors to see the over 150 species of birds and wildlife on Bair Island.

Port, Yacht Club Install Fishing Line
Recycling Container
Fishing Line Recycling Container
Fishing Line Recycling Container

In cooperation with the Sequoia Yacht Club, a fishing line recycling container has been installed near the Port’s fishing pier.

The project was suggested by Sequoia Yacht Club Vice Commodore Winston Bumpus, who noted that “in working with the Coastal Commission for the last couple of years on clean boating and coastal cleanup, one of the items that we have found a great deal of during our last two cleanups is discarded fishing line. It is not good for the sea life as well as the boats that sail in the basin.”

Port Operations Manager Don Snaman said the Yacht Club was responsible for its installation and will be responsible for emptying and recycling the discarded fishing line.

Port Among Sponsors of Marine Science Institute’s Earth Day April 20
The Port of Redwood City again is one of the sponsors of

Marine Science Institute’s (MSI) annual Earth Day on the Bay celebration, scheduled for Saturday, April 20. 

The day’s attractions will include:

  • Discovery Ecotours on MSI’s 90-foot research ship on the San Francisco Bay.
  • Touch tanks with live marine animals in
    the Discovery Aquarium.
  • Fun and educational hands-on activities.
  • Entertainment with live music that celebrates
    our connection to natural environment.
  • Ocean-themed arts and crafts.

More details will be posted on the MSI website at

Port Reports Increased Shipping Activity

Total tonnage for all commodities moving across Port of Redwood City docks during the first half of Fiscal Year 2012-13 was 666,543 metric tons (MT), an increase of nine percent over the prior FY.

Imported sand and aggregates from British Columbia accounted for 444,060 MT, or nearly 67% of the tonnage for the first half of the fiscal year. This was more than a 20% increase in the amount from the same period last fiscal year.


Shipments of bauxite and gypsum from Australia and Mexico, although not large tonnages, added to the mix of inbound cargo. Due to a weak international market for scrap metal, exports of shredded scrap metal during the first half of FY13 totaled 132,009 MT, nearly 25% below the same period last fiscal year.

Thirty-eight vessels (24 ships and 14 barges) made calls during the first half of FY13 compared to 30 vessels (25 ships and 5 barges) during the first half of FY12.

Port Supports Local Youth Programs

The Port Commission recently voted to support the Sequoia YMCA’s Summer Academy Program in the amount of $1,500. Information about the Port will be made available to the students attending the summer program.

The Y’s Youth Development program serves more than 2,000 Redwood City school children in after school enrichment programs, a Summer Learning Academy, and activities at the Y camp. The Healthy Living program focuses on healthy habits and fitness education for families and independent seniors.

The Commission also authorized a $12,500 contribution to The Redwood City Education Foundation for its Benefit for a Brighter Future event May 3.

Since l983, RCEF has provided students with funding to support academic and music programs. The Port Commission has been a sponsor of RCEF and its programs since 1998.

The Port was recognized for its support of RCEF and other educational efforts by being the recipient of the 201I Golden Apple award by the Redwood City/San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce.
RCEF has partnered with the Port to co-sponsor the annual Port Fest event.


Former Port Commissioner/Mayor  

Paul Keckley Dies at Age 89

Paul Keckley
Paul C. Keckley

Funeral services were held in February for Paul C. Keckley, a former Redwood City Mayor who after eight years on the City Council served on the Port Commission from 1975 to 1985. A University of California grad, he was a hero with an 85 yard winning touchdown reception in the Big Game against Stanford in 1947. He and a partner ran the physical therapy department at Sequoia Hospital from 1950 to 2000. He was 89.


Keckley served on the Redwood City Planning Commission from 1963-1966. He was elected to the City Council for two terms, 1966-1974. He was vice mayor of Redwood City 1970-1972 and mayor 1972-1974. His subsequent 10 years on the Port Commission included two years as chairman.


Natives of Topeka, Kansas, Keckley’s family moved to Pomona, CA, where he grew up. He attended Cal Berkeley before joining the war effort in 1943. He became a Navy pilot and wed his high school sweetheart, Peggy, July 14, 1945. After the war he returned to Cal Berkeley where he earned his B. A. degree in physical education. He played left halfback for the Bears under legendary coach Pappy Waldorf. He is best remembered for his part in winning the Cal / Stanford Big Game in 1947. With a shoulder separation and three minutes left in the game, Jackie Jensen (who went on to play baseball with the Boston Red Sox) threw a short pass to Paul and he ran 85 yards for the winning touchdown. He also played in the Rose Bowl in 1949.


Keckley attended Stanford for his graduate degree in physical therapy. He and Peggy moved to Redwood City, where they raised their four children: Kris, Kim, Mary and Todd. Peggy and all four children are among his survivors. He and business partner, Bill Brouhard, ran the Sequoia Hospital Physical Therapy Department from 1950 to 2000. During that time they opened other physical therapy offices, which included BAK (Brouhard and Keckley).

PortFest IV: Save the Date October 5
Arts Craft Booth at PortFest
PortFest Set for Oct.5

Join Us this October 5, 2013,

at Redwood City PortFest!
Our all-day waterfront festival features boat rides, working waterfront tours, live music, food and drink, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and much more. Admission and parking are free.

PortFest celebrates Redwood City’s working deepwater port and gives you a chance to get out on the Bay, enjoy delicious food, and check out local exhibitors. Our kids’ area will keep younger guests busy, while our Oktoberfest Beer Garden gives adults a chance to relax and listen to some great live music. We’ll see you there!

Port of Redwood City  |  675 Seaport Blvd  |  Redwood City, CA 94063