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TBT: BART Richmond line begins service Jan. 29, 1973

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A color view of the El Cerrito Plaza station before the opening of the Richmond line in
January 1973. (Photo courtesy El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce).

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BART rolls into the El Cerrito Plaza station on the first (and rainy) day of service on the
Richmond line on Jan. 29, 1973.

The Richmond line of the BART system began operation 44 years ago this week, on Jan. 29, 1973.  The first portion of the system, Oakland to Fremont, opened on Sept. 11, 1972, and other legs were rolled out in succession, with the Richmond-Fremont line being the second. (Concord followed in May 1973.)

BART ran along the Santa Fe Railroad right of way through Albany and El Cerrito and Santa Fe service continued until 1979, meaning a double dose of train watching or disruptive noise, depending on your point of view.

Abandonment by Santa Fe of the right of way led to the creation of the Ohlone Greenway, cited by BART as an early example of cooperative development of the communities it would be serving: “BART’s widely-known ‘linear park,’ for example, was constructed under the aerial right-of-way through Albany and El Cerrito to demonstrate how function could combine with aesthetics to enhance community environments.”

The story of the transit district’s rather unlikely road to reality is told in the new book “BART: The Dramatic History of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System,” authored by retired transit district spokesman Michael C. Healy and published by Heyday Books of Berkeley.

Here are some views of the opening of the Richmond line and the development along the way.

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Groundbreaking for the downtown Berkeley station in 1966.

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Elevated track under construction in Albany in 1968.

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Excavation on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley in 1969.

Officials conduct a tree planting at the future Del Norte station in El Cerrito along what would become the Ohlone Greenway in 1969.

Officials conduct a tree planting at the future Del Norte station in El Cerrito along what would become the Ohlone Greenway in 1969.

 

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Passengers at the Richmond station await the arrival of the first train in January 1973.

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The inaugural train on the line arrives at the Richmond BART station.

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Richmond-bound train arrives at the El Cerrito Plaza in the rain on the first day of service.

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A postcard view of the downtown Berkeley station from 1974. The station is now undergoing
extensive remodeling.

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BART under construction in Albany in 1968.

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Richmond: High school student’s Christmas light show worth a visit (video)

 

RICHMOND — One of the most impressive Christmas displays you’ll see this season requires a trip to Nome — not the Alaskan city, but Nome Street, a small dead-end street in East Richmond Heights. That’s where Armando Epifani, a 17-year-old high school student, has an elaborate display that sychronizes lights and other effects — including water spouts and flame — to music.

The professionally done “Lights on Nome” production is all the doing of the young man, his father said, adding, “All I do is pay for the electricity.”

As the video below shows, the display incorporates elements of a nighttime show at Disneyland and maybe the fountains outside the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas.

Watch for yourself and consider making the trip to see it in person. Even though Christmas is over, the display continues through Jan. 6 and is in action on the hour from 5 p.m. to midnight.

 

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Four injured in five-vehicle crash on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito

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The scene Tuesday afternoon after a multi-vehicle collision on San Pablo Avenue at Moeser Lane in El Cerrito. (Photo courtesy of John Stashik.)

Four people were injured in a multiple-car collision between 4:15 and 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 on San Pablo Avenue at Moeser Lane in El Cerrito, with one taken by helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

Michael Pigoni, Battalion Chief/Operations for the El Cerrito Fire Department, issued the following statement:

This evening at approximately 4:30 pm, Engine 71, Engine 72 and Battalion 71 were dispatched to a multi-vehicle accident on San Pablo Avenue at Moeser Lane. Initial reports were that there were 5 to 6 cars involved and possible two people trapped. Engine 71 arrived on scene to find multiple cars (5 total) in the south bound lane that were involved. Drivers were still in three of the cars.

A total of five patients were found at the scene, four adults and one infant. Four ambulances and two helicopters were ordered due to the apparent injuries with a landing zone set at Cerrito Vista Park. Engine 72 used their “Jaws of Life” to open the driver’s door of one of the vehicles to extricate the patient. The first patient was removed from the vehicle and transported to Cerrito Vista Park where REACH 3 had landed and was flown to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. The three other patients were all treated and transported by ground to John Muir Medical Center with serious to critical injuries. The infant was checked out at the scene and was not injured and was released to their family.

At this point in time, the updated condition of the patients is not known.

The photographs below of the accident scene are courtesy of the El Cerrito Fire Department.

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San Pablo: Overnight closure on Interstate 80 at San Pablo Dam Road this weekend

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Interstate 80 will be closed in both directions from 11 p.m. Aug. 20 to 7 a.m. Aug. 21 for work on the San Pablo Dam Road interchange improvement project.
Temporary detours will be in effect (see the detour map above).
“Now that the roadway deck has been poured for a new pedestrian overcrossing at Riverside
Avenue, which will replace the current overcrossing, these closures will enable crews to remove
the falsework (support structures) that were previously constructed. When complete
later this year, the new overcrossing will extend across Amador Street, enhancing safety for
Riverside Elementary School students and the community.”
Motorists should follow instructions posted on all on-site signage during the closure.
For more details on the closure and the project visit www.ccta.net/sanpablodamroad or call the project hotline at 510-277-0444. Construction updates will be available on Twitter at @i80spdr.