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Archive for the 'Roads' Category

Drilling of fourth bore starts tomorrow

Construction crews will officially begin the drilling process of the Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore in Orinda Monday morning. The first drill will happen during a commencement event to celebrate the occasion.

The fourth bore will be drilled using a boring machine called a “Road Header.” The machine is over 50 feet long and weighs 130 tons. Needless to say, you’ll likely notice it on your way into the tunnel.

While the drilling is starting on the Orinda side, it will eventually start on the other side of the hill as well. Because of the softness of the rock that crews will be drilling into, they will only be able to drill 10 feet per day, as they will have to stop every three feet to reset support.

Posted on Sunday, August 8th, 2010
Under: Lamorinda, Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

Moraga’s RECON presentation

You can find tomorrow’s Lamorinda Sun story posted here. Some supplemental reading material below:

Here’s the presentation the Town Council got last week: RECON Presentation

And here’s the original Revenue Enhancement Committee report from November: Revenue Enhancement Committee report

And in case you’re a real glutton for punishment, the town’s complete 2010-11 budget is in these three links: Moraga 2010-11 budget part 1, Moraga 2010-11 budget part 2 and Moraga 2010 budget part 3

Posted on Thursday, August 5th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Roads | 1 Comment »

More speed bumps in Lafayette?

Speed bumps may be added to Reliez Station Road between Pleasant Hill Road and Olympic Boulevard if the neighborhood’s residents vote that way.

The City of Lafayette has sent ballots out to residents in the area. The ballots are to be returned to the city in early August. Once the ballots are received, the city will decide whether or not to install the speed bumps.

That section of Reliez Station Road is often victim to speeding, as drivers use it as a shortcut when many cars are on the road. The “shortcut” allows drivers to skip over the often busy intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Olympic Boulevard.

Posted on Sunday, July 25th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Roads | 2 Comments »

Parcel tax math

There are always dangers when a liberal arts major starts playing around with numbers, but I decided to do just that today. You’ve been warned.

During the property transfer tax debate, many Lafayette residents, opposed to the idea of a tax passing with just a simple majority, suggested the city should look again at a parcel tax.

Parcel taxes in 2006 and 2007 failed to clear the two-thirds voter majority threshold, but some residents suggested if the city sought a lower parcel tax they may be successful this time around.

Which of course, begs the question, how much could a parcel tax really bring the city of Lafayette? That’s where the math comes in.

I fired up the ol’ Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and recreated the table you can find on page 17 of this city document, which details what the city’s road and drain repair budget looks like projected out to fiscal year 2019-2020 under the current funding mechanism.

Then I added another column that allowed me to enter various levels of parcel tax revenue and see how that affected the overall budget picture.

Some assumptions, first. There are 8,753 taxable parcels in the city of Lafayette, according to the county assessor’s office. So the calculations assume there’s no senior exemption and all of those parcels are subject to the tax. Also, the numbers assume the entire parcel tax would be used for road and drain repairs. Finally, the parcel tax numbers start rolling in during fiscal year 2011-2012 under the assumption that the council can’t go back in time and put a parcel tax measure on the ballot for the current fiscal year.

So how much would you need? If you wanted to eliminate the repair backlog by 2020, you would need to set the parcel tax at $143, just slightly lower than the parcel tax that failed in 2007.

What if, to increase your chances of getting the thing passed, you lowered the tax level? A parcel tax of $100 would bring the backlog down to $3.8 million by 2020, about 25 percent of the current total backlog of $15.3 million

Need to go even lower? A parcel tax of $75 would bring the backlog to $6.1 million, about 40 percent of the current total.

Whether or not the council wants to try this route again after so many failures is up in the air. But if they want to get the roads fixed by something close to the end of this decade, it’s clear they would have to ask for an annual parcel tax well above $100, and probably close to the $150 they asked for unsuccessfully in 2007.

You can take a look at the numbers here: Lafayette road repair parcel tax worksheet

Posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2010
Under: Lafayette, Roads | 1 Comment »

Road closures in Orinda

From the city of Orinda:

In order to accommodate the July 4th parade, street closures will be in place on Sunday, July 4th from 10am to 1pm at the following locations:

  • Camino Pablo Northbound
  • Eastbound Orinda exit off Hwy 24 onto Northbound Camino Pablo
  • Northbound Camino Pablo onto westbound Hwy 24
  • Eastbound Hwy 24 on-ramp at Bryant Way

Orinda access both on and off HWY 24 on Sunday, July 4th between 10am and 1pm is available from the St. Stephens Drive ramps.

For more information about the parade and all the July 4th activities, visit the Orinda Associations website at

Posted on Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore progress

Construction crews working on the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel will begin constructing the drilling device that will be used to actually bore the hole in the hill. The construction of the drill will take place on the Orinda side of the tunnel beginning this week, so it will be visible shortly.

In addition to the drill, crews will soon be building retaining walls and portal walls. Once all of these items have been constructed, the actual process of boring out the dirt will begin.

Crews have already cleared the hillsides on both sides of the future fourth bore and have constructed sound walls.

Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010
Under: Orinda, Roads | 1 Comment »

Update on Moraga Road rubber cape seal repair

The failed “rubber cape seal” road repair along Moraga Road will be on the Moraga Town Council agenda Wednesday for an update.

The council awarded a $550,000 contract, with most of the money from the federal stimulus, to International Surfacing Systems.

Moraga residents know that the repair didn’t exactly work as planned. According to the staff report from Town Engineer Jill Mercurio, the contractor that did the repairs agrees the work has not been up to stuff and has been on site several times, but has not been able to repair the repair because of the late rainy season.

Mercurio says in the report that the town staff will be meeting with the contractor this week to discuss and plan the repairs.

Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010
Under: Moraga, Roads | No Comments »

Work begins on Caldecott fourth bore

From ABC7 news:

Posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

Miner Road and Camino Pablo closed

From Orinda City Hall:

Miner Road at Camino Pablo is closed temporarily due to a downed large oak tree.  City crews are on scene. The road is expected to be cleared and opened this morning.  No injuries are reported.

Posted on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »

One lane of Glorietta in Orinda closed

Just in from the city of Orinda:

EBMUD is currently making an emergency repair of a water valve at #145 Glorietta Boulevard.

Traffic is reduced to one-lane. Crews are on site directing traffic.  The reduction to one-lane of traffic is expected to remain in effect until 10:00 p.m. tonight.

Posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Under: Orinda, Roads | No Comments »