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Published December 21st, 2022
Corliss Drive Safe Routes to School gets underway
Corliss Drive/Wakefield Drive intersection near Los Perales Elementary School Photo courtesy Public Works Department

Parents of children attending Los Perales Elementary School will be glad to hear that the town of Moraga continues to take proactive steps to ensure the safety of the school's students. The Safe Routes to School engineering design project includes the development of design options for a safer route along Corliss Drive where a lack of sidewalks and dangerous roadway curves have become part of the problem.
Corliss Drive is not the only street to have safety issues for young pedestrians and bicyclists. Sullivan Drive curves and turns into Corliss which then intersects at Wakefield Drive just northwest of Los Perales. Arroyo Drive and Warfield Drive are also included within the problematic corridor.
According to a Dec. 7 staff report to the town council by Public Works Director/Town Engineer Shawn Knapp and Senior Civil Engineer Bret Swain, there's a lot to take into consideration for this project. "On Corliss Drive, there are existing below and above ground utility structures, driveways, landscaping and trees, and accessibility (ADA) requirements that limit cost effective opportunities to install a sidewalk. The existing conditions may require the acquisition of additional Right-of-Way (ROW), relocation of utilities (in particular, power poles), and construction of retaining walls, to add a pedestrian sidewalk."
The report continues, "One option to add a sidewalk, assumes the removal of portions of the curbside parking along the street which would impact the adjacent property owner's capacity to park vehicles near their property.? Another option is to remove a travel lane to provide space for pedestrian walkways or multi-use pathway."
An additional possibility is to remove one of the travel lanes along Corliss and Sullivan and convert it into a one-way street. This is not a popular option since it would increase the distance parents would need to drive in order to drop off or pick up their children.? Stakeholder and public feedback will be sought in order to meet everyone's expectations. This input will help to shape the final design process.
Staff requested approval from the town council to award a Professional Services Agreement for Engineering Services to Sandis Civil Engineers, Surveyors and Planners (Oakland, Calif.) after four prospective engineering firms bid on the project. Staff's decision was based on: completeness of response; project understanding and approach; proposed scope of services; qualification and specific experience of key team members; experience with similar types of projects; schedule and capacity to provide qualified personnel; and references/satisfaction of previous clients.
The council unanimously approved a resolution awarding an agreement to Sandis for an amount up to $183,795 (design) and $27,615 (15% contingency) for a total amount not to exceed $211,410 for the Corliss Drive Safe Routes to School (CIP 21-404). An amount of $11,410 will be appropriated from Fund 210 - Measure J.

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