One of Berkeley’s ‘worst streets’ is set for repaving

The suspension-rattling streets of the Berkeley Marina are about to get a whole lot smoother.

Crews will start work in mid-August on a $6.2 million project repaving and reworking the marina’s three main corridors — including the western end of University Avenue, blocks so bumpy they ranked second in a 2018 Berkeleyside poll asking readers to name the city’s worst streets. By that unscientific measure, University has been the worst in Berkeley since 2019, when the city repaved the poll’s champion, Sixth Street.

The Marina project will lay new pavement on University Avenue, Marina Boulevard and Spinnaker Way. Crews will also install a new roundabout at University and Marina, and rebuild the traffic circle at the end of Spinnaker, among other tweaks.

Joe Enke, Berkeley’s acting manager of engineering, said those streets will remain open through the project with temporary traffic patterns. Construction is expected to last through the spring, Enke said.

The biggest source of funding for the project is the Berkeley Marina DoubleTree hotel, which contributed $2.5 million as part of its ground lease agreement with the city. California’s 2017 gas tax increase is providing another $1 million, while local tax measures B, BB and T1 are cumulatively kicking in $2.6 million.

Berkeley’s streets overall are rated among the worst in the Bay Area, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. In the commission’s Pavement Condition Index report for 2019, the most recent year the report was completed, Berkeley streets received a score of 57, putting the city in the “at-risk” range along with Oakland and Albany. Dublin, which ranked highest in the region, had a score of 85.

You can find the full list of Berkeley streets set for improvement projects this year here, and the city’s five-year repaving plan here.