News from the City of Palo Alto:
Over the past four years, Palo Alto’s streets have continued to improve as a result of increased street maintenance funding, resulting in a number of new projects and investments within the 2015-2019 Capital Improvement Program recently approved by the Council.
The 2015 budget includes an increase of $2.3 million spread over the next three years for the City’s Street Maintenance project.
This bump in funding will pay for the completion of Alma Street’s repaving and for Middlefield Road to be repaved from Menlo Park to Colorado Avenue.
This is more than triple the annual budget from as recently as five years ago and brings the total annual funding level to $6.4 million in Fiscal Year 2015 and $6 million each for FY2016 and FY2017.
Almost half of the 2015 budget will go toward street maintenance projects that will also be funded by infrastructure reserve, transfers from the Gas Tax fund, and grants from various agencies, such as VTA, Santa Clara County, Caltrans and the state of California, that are available.
The significant increase in funding to the annual street maintenance effort will allow the City to continue with its five-year plan for street repaving, which included the resurfacing of 38 lane miles in 2014 alone.
As part of this plan, Forest Avenue from Ramona Street to Lincoln Avenue was recently repaved.
Prior to repaving, Forest Avenue had been one of the worst roads in the City due to damage from tree roots, heavy use, trenches, and the age of the asphalt. The rehabilitation of Forest Avenue also included the replacement of damaged concrete road base, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and driveway aprons, and was coordinated to follow planned utility projects.
On June 23, Council approved a $1 million contract with Graham Contractors, Inc. for the City’s FY2015 Preventive Maintenance Project. This contract will patch 1,600 tons of asphalt and fill almost 150,000 feet of road cracks before slurry sealing 2.25 million square feet of City streets.
The project will work on many of the City’s major streets, including Embarcadero, East and West Bayshore and Middlefield roads.
The goal of the City’s Street Maintenance project is to increase the citywide average PCI (Pavement Condition Index) score from its current 78 to an 85 by the year 2019. PCI scores are generated with data collected from visual inspection of the City’s streets and range from 0 to a perfect score of 100.
The original goal was to reach a citywide average score of 85 by 2021, but with the enhanced level of funding the City now expects to achieve an 80 by the end of FY2015 and an 85 by 2019.