Berkeley Marina Streets Improvement Project


Berkeley Marina, CA

City or County Responsible for Project

City of Berkeley


Complete Streets Projects


Nelson Lam


Department of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, City of Berkeley


2180 Milvia Street, 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704


(510) 981-6395

Supporting Documentation


Project Description

The Berkeley Marina is a 220 acre recreation area comprised of a landfilled peninsula and a boat harbor that projects 1 mile into the waters of the Bay. With up to 300,000 visitors per year to the hotel, restaurants & vast recreational amenities. Despite the heavy use, the sole street network at the Berkeley Marina had received no major repairs since the original construction over 50 years ago. These streets have been referred by the community as “worst roads in town” (PCI 28).

Major funding for the Project came from the City’s Infrastructure bond that was approved by Berkeley voters by 86% in 2016, a strong sign of wide community support. The major anchor tenant at the Marina was an important partner and contributed 35% of the budget along with SB1 & local funds.

The Project performed a major renovation of 3 of the 5 street segments at the Marina, and performed the following Complete Streets improvements: University Ave received major geometric change and realigned northward, Spinnaker Way was fully reconstructed, and Marina Blvd was resurfaced as a value-engineered solution. Innovative elements include: pavement recycling (FDR), porous pavement systems, bioswales and bioretention basins with native pollinator plantings, multi-modal access upgrades (e.g., Bay Trail cross-walks, public bus stops, pedestrian and bicycle connections). A new modern roundabout was installed at a dangerous intersection, and new public open space was created at the original location of University Ave.

The Project involved a well-coordinated communications plan to inform all local businesses and community throughout will project phases in addition to collaboration with local and regional partners such as Caltrans, AC Transit and East Bay Regional Park District. Adjacent to the Project, Caltrans partnered with the City of Berkeley to implement the Caltrans Berkeley Waterfront Beautification Project and Interchange Improvement project, which involved the installation of native landscaping and protective safety fencing on Caltrans lands at the base of the University Ave entrance/exit ramps at Interstate 80.

Despite the highly disruptive construction, many of the impacted drivers gestured their support for the project with thumbs up and smiles, a rare sentiment at most road construction zones.

The California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment (Aug, 2021) indicated that local road reconstruction with complete street elements’ unit cost ranged from $90/sy to $800/sy. The cost for this project is at about $240/sy, indicating the cost-effectiveness of the project. Post construction of these 3 of 5 street segments, the entire Marina road network now has PCI 74 which is above the Alameda County 2020 PCI of 68. These 3 segments can now be properly maintained with standard cost-effective roadway preservation techniques.

The City is excited about deploying these new innovative elements at several upcoming roadway projects at the Berkeley Waterfront.