highways, bridges, and high speed rail when we speak of "infrastructure", but as I have tried to highlight in other blog posts, while the major national headlines focus on those big ticket items what is really needed is money to maintain your city streets; yes those streets right outside your widow, the residential street.
The East Bay city of Orinda has gone back to the drawing board after two recent attempts to finance a much needed road repair program. The city announced that they will be conducting a citywide survey to see if residents will support measures to fund a road maintenance program.
In a recent Contra Costa Times article ("Orinda my poll residents on how to finance road repairs") it was mentioned that "since 2000, Orinda has spent $15.5 million repaving arterial and collector streets. However, the city's residential roads remain rough. In 2006 and 2007 (Voter Information Pamphlet), bond measures of nearly $60 million fell short of voter approval. Orinda annually allocates an average of about 10 percent, or $1 million, of its $10 million operating budget to road and storm drain repairs."
In the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Report ("The Pothole Report - Can the Bay Area Have better Roads?"), Orinda's 193 miles of roadway rank in the lowest category with a PCI (Pavement Condition Index) of 49 in 2010. At over $1 million per year that works out to over $5,000 per mile which is extremely low for road repair work. Depending on whether the city wants to maintain or improve conditions it typically takes from $8,000 to $17,000 per lane mile. With the increasing backlog the city's Citizens Infrastructure Committee has now estimated it will take as much as $95 million to keep the city's roads and pipes up to standard. If you amortize this over 10 years ($95million / 10 years) this just about equals the current city budget of $10 million; just for the city's roads!
So we can now add Orinda to the growing list of cities that are caught in that though spot of paying for road maintenance now or major road overhauls later. Stay tuned.
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