Seabreeze homeless encampment cleanup underway in West Berkeley

Update, 3:30 p.m. The freeway ramp has reopened following Sunday’s Seabreeze homeless encampment cleanup, the city reports.

Original story: Berkeley city workers are on the scene Sunday doing a long-planned cleanup at the Seabreeze homeless encampment by the on-ramp to westbound Interstate 80.

The I-80 ramp toward Emeryville and San Francisco “will be closed while Public Works crews are clearing piles of debris,” the city said in a Nixle alert at 9 a.m.

Traffic is being detoured along West Frontage Road while the cleanup work at the encampment is underway, the city said. The eastbound on-ramp and all off-ramps remain open.

No campsites will be relocated Sunday, the city said.

The sprawling homeless encampment in the area of the Seabreeze Market in West Berkeley has been a longstanding issue of concern for members of the public and officials alike, as conditions have reportedly deteriorated over time.

In early October, a man was shot at the camp in broad daylight. The California Highway Patrol is handling that case and has declined, to date, to provide any updates.

The land where the camp is located is owned by Caltrans, which has created challenges as far as Berkeley’s efforts to address issues there, city leaders have said. Berkeley’s city manager and mayor have both said in the last month or so that a Seabreeze encampment cleanup was coming.

Eventually, the city has said, it will take even greater measures: Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín told Berkeleyside in early September that the camps at University Avenue and Gilman Street by the freeway where, at times, more than 100 people have lived, will ultimately be fenced off. But that is not what’s happening Sunday.

Berkeleyside will share more information when it becomes available.