The Town created some self-congratulatory fanfare last week, touting the opening of two lanes of traffic on the long-delayed and significantly-over-budget Canyon Road Bridge.
The permanent bridge - originally to be completed in 2016 at a cost of $3.2MM - is now estimated to cost $12,774,015 according to a December 2021 staff report requesting an additional $644,015 to cover past overruns and future post-construction environmental mitigation like native plantings, trees and their associated maintenance.
The cost of the bridge has repeatedly exceeded budgets and has required at least half a dozen additional allocations and approvals since its inception, including two in 2021 alone that amounted to over $1 million.
The initial budget for the bridge was $3.2 million (MM) in 2013
Staff required additional funding to $4.8MM in 2015
Staff required additional funding to $7.2MM in mid 2018
Staff required additional funding to $9.2MM in late 2018
Staff required additional funding to $9.7MM in 2019
Staff required additional funding to $11.6MM in 2020
Staff required additional funding to $12.1MM in mid 2021
Staff required additional funding to $12.8MM in late 2021
Nevertheless, the Town's recent newsletter falsely claims the "magnificent" bridge has come in "under budget." That makes 11 out of 11 failed fact checks (see that featured series here).
Interestingly, the newsletter also uses an all-too-common technique to infer that the costs are entirely paid for with "other people's money" through grants by citing Caltrans and the County's Measure J funding. The latter actually belongs entirely to and is controlled by Moraga (and is in Moraga's bank account) as it is Moraga's share of a portion of sales taxes earmarked for any transportation-related use the Town wishes.
12/8/21 staff report seeking additional funding: click here
About Town newsletter claiming "under budget": click here