Published April 24th, 2013
Street and Sidewalk Improvement Projects Added to Capital Improvement Plan
By Laurie Snyder
At its April 16 meeting, the Orinda City Council gave staff the go-ahead to apply for more than $1 million in grant funding to help facilitate three Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects for 2014 to upgrade roads, bikeways, and walkways. While grant applications by the city are not new, the current process will be different, according to the staff report, because "many of the usual grant programs have been rolled into the OneBayArea Grant (OBAG) program." A deadline of April 19 was established for the OBAG application process by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Association of Bay Area Governments.
Of the three CIP projects discussed, Ivy Drive's Pavement Rehabilitation would require the largest outlay with a projected total cost of $636,000. Delayed from 2012 due to funding issues, Ivy Drive could be improved from Fiesta Circle to Moraga Way with the help of $551,000 in Statewide Transportation Plan (STP) Funds "allocated to Orinda for road improvement projects. Under the conditions of the STP a project has to be a collector road." The remainder would be covered by gas tax matching funds.
Walkers on Coral Drive between Eastwood and Ardith and on Ivy between Risa Court and Fiesta might experience safer routes to school if the city can also effect $95,000 in sidewalk improvements by using $70,000 in TDA Funds and $15,000 in Transportation Improvement Fees with remaining costs also funded by gas taxes.
And, if the city secures its hoped-for $445,000 OBAG funding for Crossroads Area Streetscape Improvements, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers may finally find it easier to coexist thanks to planned modifications. Because the design for Brookwood Road's rehabilitation was completed under an earlier, unfunded pavement rehabilitation project, construction could begin once design for the Bryant Way connection and sidewalks are completed - if the OBAG funds are awarded. "Per OBAG requirements eligible projects have to be in a Priority Development Area (PDA) for a project that will be for local streets and roads preservation and bicycle and pedestrian improvements," according to the staff report.
Council members voted 5-0, authorizing staff to proceed with grant applications for all three projects.

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