The Town of Moraga, plagued by some of the worst streets in the Bay Area, has turned to one of the region's most successful models of street resurrection – El Cerrito.
Moraga has entered into a contract for street-upgrade assistance from El Cerrito Director of Public Works Jerry Bradshaw, who oversaw the striking improvement of the El Cerrito streets between 2006 and 2010.
Last November, El Cerrito for 2011 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The remarkable transformation of the city's streets 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 town of Moraga has found themselves in the position of having some of the worst streets in the Bay Area – similar to what El Cerrito has dealt with in recent years," El Cerrito City Manager Scott Hanin wrote in a recent memo.
"As they began a process to explore their options for making improvements, they asked for a presentation by El Cerrito staff on the success story of our streets," he said. That led to Moraga's town manager, Jill Keimach (formerly El Cerrito’s Community Development Director) asking whether Bradshaw could help out, Hanin said.
An agreement was worked out for Bradshaw to assist Moraga's effort on limited contract basis through at least June of this year, Hanin said.
"It was our feeling that this level of assistance was consistent with our approach to coordination, would not impact the work here in El Cerrito and provide as much as $20,000 in unanticipated revenues to the City," Hanin said.
The contract cap is $20,000 with all funds from Moraga going to the City of El Cerrito. Bradshaw said he will likely put in extra hours of his own time.
"Moraga’s streets are on the verge of failure," says the Town of Moraga Web page on street conditions, "suffering from large potholes and cracks, which will turn in to major breaks and sinkholes if not addressed."
El Cerrito street surfaces, by contrast, won accolades in a Patch column by El Cerrito resident Jennifer Eyre White: "When I first moved here, my street looked like it had been pelted with asteroids — if you wanted to skateboard on it you would have needed a board with suspension. Now my street is like butter, only black and unyielding, the way butter-like streets should be."