Ron Cowan Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility

WETA Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility

The Ron Cowan Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility (670 West Hornet Avenue in Alameda) is the new home of the San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet in the central bay, providing a consolidated base to maintain vessels operating on its Alameda/Oakland, Alameda Harbor Bay, Richmond and South San Francisco ferry routes. The facility, which opened in 2018, also includes an Operations Control Center for service dispatch and an Emergency Operations Center that will serve as a primary location for WETA to coordinate the provision of emergency transportation services in the event of a regional disaster or transportation disruption.

The facility includes a working yard along the Alameda Point shoreline that supports light repair and maintenance work, spare parts storage, concession supply, administrative office space, records storage and deliveries. WETA built an on-site fuel facility with a total storage capacity of 48,000 gallons – enough to operate WETA’s central bay services for up to a week in the event of an emergency. The fueling set-up also allows use of renewable diesel in the fleet.

Extending from the shoreline of the project site and into the Bay is a marine facility with berthing slips for 12 ferry vessels. Each slip has been outfitted with equipment to deliver fuel and utility hook-ups to WETA vessels, while a limited number of slips are specially outfitted to meet regular vessel maintenance needs such as engine oil changes and life raft servicing.

As part of the project, WETA improved the surrounding areas more attractive and accessible for Alameda residents and the public at-large. WETA improved a half-acre of land adjacent to the project site. This includes expansion of the San Francisco Bay Trail, construction of a shoreline viewing terrace, bicycle parking, interpretive signage, improved lighting and landscaping, and seating.

The total construction cost of the project was $50 million, funded by State Proposition 1B, federal funds and Regional Measure 2 toll revenue. Construction began in 2016 and was completed in 2018. The design-build contractor was a joint venture of Overaa Construction and Power Engineering Construction. WETA’s design team was KPFF Consulting Engineers and ROMA Design Group. The construction manager was 4Leaf, Inc.