Hillside Natural Area (HNA) Fire Road Repairs


The project will reconstruct a portion of the fire and maintenance access road located off Potrero Avenue and repair the damaged retaining wall caused by the heavy rains in early 2017.  The repairs generally include clearing and grubbing, minor re-grading, replacement of the damaged retaining wall, installation of drainage piping and restoration of disturbed ground and hydroseeding.  

The project is largely funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program grant and California Governor’s Office California Disaster Assistance Act of Emergency Services Program grant with supplemental funding from the City’s Measure H Park & Recreation Facilities Fund.  HNA Site 6

Construction will begin on March 30, 2021 and take approximately 6 weeks depending on weather. Construction activities will typically start at 8 a.m. and finish by 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Portions of the fire and maintenance access road will be temporarily closed during this time but will re-open at the end of the workday and on weekends. You will receive a notice directly from the City’s Contractor, Maggiora & Ghilotti Inc., before work begins. The Contractor will attempt to accommodate any special needs as they arise, and emergency access will always be available.

For questions regarding construction activities, you can contact Maggiora & Ghilotti Inc.’s Project Manager, Don Muns at (415) 459-8640 or don@maggiora-ghilotti.com. For general questions about the project or other assistance, you may also contact the City’s Engineering Manager, Ana Bernardes, at (510) 215-4382 or abernardes@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.  


The project has repaired the HNA fire road at five locations that were significantly damaged during storms in February 2017 using FEMA and Cal OES funding. Heavy rains, flooding and high-velocity winds caused widespread damage throughout the State of California. These conditions existed in the federally-declared County of Contra Costa, including in the City of El Cerrito, which maintains the fire access roads and recreational trails in HNA. This 102.5-acre undeveloped open space includes extensive native vegetation, an oak woodland, riparian environments, Eucalyptus groves, and the majority of the City’s urban tree canopy; it is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and is in a designated Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.

Sites 1 through 5 fire road repairs generally included clearing and grubbing of the fire roads, scarifying the road and edges, minor re-grading to fill washouts and re-contour cross slopes, restoring the road profile and cross-section with soils on site, moisture conditioning, recompacting existing soils, installing earthen water bars, erosion and dust control, and other related work. 


Sites 1 through 5 repairs were completed in November 2019.


Ana Bernardes                       Engineering Manager                 (510) 215-4382                   Email

Don Muns                     Maggiora & Ghilotti Inc.   Project Manager                (415) 459-8640                Email