Studies and Evaluations
Before any major project starts, an analysis of the underlying problem is required. Hydrologic, geotechnical, and environmental studies may be done by District staff or consultants hired by the District for their expertise. The results of the studies help determine possible solutions.
At the design stage, the District develops a plan for the project, the actions to be taken, engineering and construction required, schedule, and estimated cost. The project design is also based in large part on the amount of money in the Capital Improvement Project budget for the particular zone in which the project will be situated. Each of the nine zones, which together make up the District’s jurisdiction, has its own budget.
Project permitting occurs in tandem with the project design. Federal, state, and regional regulatory agencies must approve steps that will be taken in the plan so that environmental laws and requirements, as well as municipal codes, are followed. When a proposed project has an adverse impact on the environment, the District must take steps to mitigate by developing a plan to improve the environment in another location.
Once a project design is final and regulatory permits have been acquired, the District finds a contractor to build the project. The District posts a bid package on the Alameda County Public Works Agency’s website and contacts pertinent contractors in its database. Firms submitting bids are carefully considered in a competitive bid process.
The District supports the Alameda County Small, Local and Emerging Business (SLEB) program. Once an engineering firm and/or contractor(s) are selected by the District, and contracts are negotiated, the project construction begins.
Inspections and Monitoring
Throughout project construction, the District is on hand to inspect the ongoing work. District staff interact with the engineer and contractor to make sure the project stays on track. Once completed, a final inspection is carried out. Some of the permits obtained by the District require ongoing monitoring of and reporting on environmental habitats, usually for periods of two to five years.
Maintenance and Operations
The District performs ongoing maintenance of its facilities to ensure that they are functioning as intended. Proper maintenance also extends the life of the infrastructure, thereby improving the public’s return on investment.