THE BERKELEY PUBLIC WORKS history began over a 100 years ago when Public Works was little more than horses and stables. This was a time of growth for the city and the formative years for our municipal services.
Back then, Berkeley’s City Hall and the Public Works Corporation Yard were located at Sacramento and University. In 1915, almost two decades after the city hall was moved to the Civic Center, the stables and equipment yard were situated away from the City’s main street, further southwest to a new location on Allston Way. It was then that Public Works began its steady move to modernize. By now, the work force had risen to about 150, and was supported by a number of specialized vehicles and equipment.
In the early 1920s, the municipal garbage collection was added to the activities list of this “rock and gravel” yard. With the increase in city vehicles, Public Works soon began to take on a different look.
By the 1930s, the growth of the city’s fleet forced horse stalls and storage areas to make way for shop space and vehicles. Fleet management had finally emerged as a critical element of planning for Public Works’ future growth. The many changes which came with street construction and city maintenance during this period also produced additional demands for materials storage and processing of street oils and macadam and asphalt.
The Public Works Department had entered an era of planning and design. They were forced by the rapid changes in technology and increased demands for services to look for better ways to operate. (READ MORE>