Critical Infrastructure Project

The City of Belvedere is undertaking a major infrastructure improvement project that will protect the City from a number of threats. The City is unusual in that it comprises two islands in the San Francisco Bay, the largest of these is connected to the mainland by two earthen levees, which are susceptible to significant displacement from an earthquake. All utility trunk lines to and from this island – supplying electricity, gas, water, sewer, and fire suppression – are embedded within the levees, making them equally vulnerable to failure during a sizable earthquake. Emergency access and evacuation also depend on the levee systems, as the roads built atop the levees provide the only access to Belvedere Island. These city-owned roads are over 80 years old and have not been upgraded since their original construction. This project page has been developed to aid residents in understanding the history of the project and the public process in arriving at a preferred design and project plan. Information will be added and updated as the project develops.

Project Overview

Belvedere has been researching ways to identify and address these vulnerabilities for over a decade. Staff, Project Engineers, Architects, Professional Estimators, City Councils, Committees, Citizen Groups, and the public have worked diligently on the solution. The project involves strengthening the City’s levees against seismic activity by installing steel sheet piles. These structures will be embedded deep into the sand and mud layers under these roads and will have the added benefit of stabilizing the existing concrete seawalls on Beach Road. While increasing the height of the levees/seawalls is no longer within the first phase of this project's scope, engineers have made an extra effort to design these improvements to be adaptable. When ready, the City will be positioned to address higher sea levels anticipated in 2050 and beyond.

  • The Belvedere City Council approved a final design concept in early 2021.
  • The Draft EIR was published in October 2022.
  • The cost estimate for the project is $20 million.
  • In November 2022, Belvedere voters were asked to approve introducing a 0.8% real property transfer tax to help fund the project. Unfortunately, Measure D failed at the ballot box.
  • Securing funding remains an important challenge to completing this critical project. For now, the City is actively pursuing grant funding.

For specific project questions not found on this webpage, please email the City Manager, Robert Zadnik.

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