The bizarre water main break at Stern Grove this past August forced the cancellation of the final Stern Grove Festival concert at the outdoor music venue, and has even left the park’s 2022 concert series in doubt. The cleanup for the flood and mud damage was estimated at $4 million, and at Tuesday afternoon’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the board unanimously passed a resolution providing exactly that much.
The resolution, sponsored by the district’s supervisor Gordon Mar, approves the $4 million "to contract resources for tree removal, slope repair and debris removal in Stern Grove, which was damaged by flooding caused by a failed air valve on a water transmission pipeline."
The cleanup started immediately under an emergency declaration from the SF Public Utilities Commission, issued two days after the water line disaster. That allowed the first batch of contracts to be approved, but the full $4 million was not approved until Tuesday’s board meeting.
But even that $4 million may not be enough. The Chronicle reported in September that “it could be more, with final damage to be determined by a team of geotechnical engineers, biologists, archaeologists and arborists, all trying to figure out how to restore a hill that was carved into gullies by the rushing water.”
The festival has not commented any further on the likelihood of a 2022 concert season since the accident, but they do think they can not only fix, but improve the venue. Their website currently says they “have high hopes to use this time to implement many new improvements to the concert venue. Our hope is to come back stronger than ever with an even better Stern Grove Festival experience.”