The Short Story of Where Orinda and its Roads Stand Today

Half of Orinda's roads are in Poor to Failed condition; below a rating of PCI-50 (Pavement Condition Index).  Orinda is one of the wealthiest communities in the Bay Area and has some of its worst roads.  We have been grappling with the issue since the City formed an Infrastructure Committee in 2004 which released its report in 2006 detailing the cost to bring our roads and associated storm drains up to reasonable standards. 

Two $60 million bond measures in 2006 and 2007 failed to pass, by tiny margins.  However, a $10 million sales tax passed in 2012 and a $20 million bond passed in 2014.

A report by the City's Infrastructure Commission (CIOC) in November 2015 updated the total cost to bring all roads in Orinda up to Good condition (above PCI 50) by the end of 2022: $80 million. This includes $66 million for road repair and $14 million to rehabilitate the storm drains running under or adcent to the roads.  The report also stated that it would cost another $3 million per year to maintain the roads at that level after they have been repaired.

At a November 17, 2015 City Council meeting, the City agreed to commit to the road standards recommended by the CIOC (minimum 50 PCI).

A report by the City’s Finance Advisory Committee (FAC) in December 2015 presented five funding sources to provide the remaining $45 million required to repair the roads by 2022 and four sources to provide the $2 million per year in excess of existing sources to maintain the roads thereafter.

At its December 15, 2015 meeting the Orinda City Council discussed the FAC report but did not commit to determine how to fully fund the remaining repairs and required maintenance.  Instead, it agreed to conduct a phone poll of about 400 residents (at a cost of $22,000), prior to providing any public education or discussion regarding the City's goals or options for solution.

The survey results showed 47 percent of those polled wanted to see the roads fixed with a single vote for funding while 27 percent would rather see multiple votes.  But in aggregate 75% wanted to see the roads fixed while the other 25 percent were non-commital (but not necessarily against).

In February the City Council agreed with the 27% who wanted to see the process dragged out and agreed to put a $25 million repair bond on the June ballot; hoping that in the future people would vote for the final $20 million in repairs and the $2 million per year in additional funds to make sure the $80 million in repairs did not degrade again.