El Cerrito meteoric rise in street-surface quality has won the "Most Improved Roads" award for 2011 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the city's public works director, Jerry Bradshaw, announced to the City Council Monday night.
Bradshaw said he was notified two weeks ago that the city was due to receive the award at the MTC's annual Pavement Improvement Program conference, held Nov. 28.
"I was happy to go," Bradshaw said. "We were in good company," he added, alluding to Brentwood and Dublin, two other winners with newer road systems who were honored for "Best All-Around Pavement Management Program" and "Best Bay Area Roads" respectively.
El Cerrito's remarkable improvement in its streets between 2006 and 2010 was highlighted in June in MTC's "The Pothole Report." In rankings of 109 Bay Area cities and counties on a pavement condition index (PCI), El Cerrito streets went from near the bottom to tying for second best.
ln 2010, El Cerrito scored 85 out of a possible 100 for its single-year PCI, tying for second place with Belvedere, behind first-place Brentwood, which scored 88. In 2006, El Cerrito's PCI was a lowly 48, which tied for third from the bottom.
The improvement was brought about in part through the 2008 voter approval of Measure A, a half-cent sales tax dedicated to street repair.
More information on the city's street-paving program can be found on the city Web site at www.el-cerrito.org/streets.