For more than a century, Cemex’s Davenport, Calif., plant supplied cement for numerous major infrastructure projects, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the California Aqueduct, before closing in 2010. Santa Cruz County is now exploring how to reuse the decommissioned plant, which is still owned by Cemex, reported the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
County officials announced in April that the process has begun for recruiting a consultant who will spearhead a coastal restoration and reuse plan. Bids are due May 20.
“The county’s desire is to work with Sempervirens to make the property something desirable for the community,” said Andy Constable, county economic development manager. Sempervirens Fund, a land trust working to preserve the redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is a major partner with Santa Cruz County on the project and is providing $425,000 in funding for the reuse plan.
The consultant will be tasked with giving priority consideration to the idea that the plant could become a public entrance to Coast Dairies and San Vicente Redwoods, where proposals for hiking, biking and horseback riding trails are in the works.
“For any property on the California coast, public access should always be the highest priority,” said Supervisor Ryan Coonerty, who represents the North Coast.
There is an effort to give Coast Dairies higher status by including it in the California Coastal National Monument. Supporters, including Sempervirens Fund, hope that the new title will help attract more federal and private money for restoration and management. The Bureau of Land Management, which currently oversees the 5,800-acre expanse with rolling hills and coastal views, plans to open up the property for public access.
Right next door is the San Vicente Redwoods, which Cemex also used to own. Sempervirens Fund is part of a group of nonprofits that have managed the land since 2011. The group has been working on a public access plan since 2013.