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Belvedere to split infrastructure project

Belvedere has decided to break its multimillion-dollar infrastructure project into two phases, placing an immediate priority on seismic retrofits and delaying flood-barrier fixes — a move officials say is supported by resident feedback despite it likely driving up the total cost of the work.

The City Council at its June 6 meeting directed staff to develop the phased approach for the Protect Belvedere Project, which will first focus on earthquake fixes by installing 40- to 50-foot steel sheet piles along most of Beach Road and sections of San Rafael Avenue. The city will continue to work on designs for what will now become the second phase of the project, raising and fortifying the levees on those roads to protect against sea-level rise.

It’s unclear when the city would initiate that second phase; in a staff report submitted to the council ahead of the meeting, Director of Public Works Robert Zadnik, who takes over for retiring City Manager Craig Middleton starting June 17, suggested a limited delay of up to five years.

As part of the new phased approach, the city will consider lowering the rate of a proposed real-estate transfer tax it plans to levy to pay for the project to 0.8 percent from 1 percent.

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