OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) - Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and city Department of Transportation director Ryan Russo said today that over the next few months there will be a flurry of street-paving activity that will deliver an estimated four times more repaved miles in 2018 than in other recent years.
Speaking at a kickoff event at the corner of East 16th Street and 37th Avenue in the city's Fruitvale district, Schaaf and Russo said they anticipate that the so-called "Summer of Paving" will result in at least 25 miles of city streets seeing new pavement this year, compared to an average of 6 miles per year over the last few cycles.
They said that's important because Oakland residents, workers and visitors drive an estimated half-million trips over those roads every day.
Schaaf said the "Summer of Paving" represents an important step in addressing Oakland's paving backlog. City crews, which recently have been expanded, will perform full repaving on smaller neighborhood streets, work 12-hour days and repave streets seven days a week.
Contractors will supplement that work by performing preventative maintenance on larger streets and fully repaving others.
City officials said they hope the work will begin to make a dent in Oakland's paving backlog, which they said is about $443 million over 830 miles of city streets.
Schaaf said some of the funding for the paving work is coming from Measure KK, which 82 percent of Oakland voters approved in November 2016 and provides $350 million in bond funds over the next decade to address the city's backlog of needed street repairs.
In addition, city officials said funding from Senate Bill 1, the gas tax which was passed by the state Legislature in 2017 and brought $7 million to Oakland, is being used to hire 20 new workers dedicated to street maintenance as well as acquiring the new equipment those workers need.
Oakland officials said that although their 96-mile five-year paving plan largely focuses on major streets where more residents drive, repaving will also occur on smaller neighborhood streets that are in especially poor condition.