The five winners, two counties and three cities, were recognized for their extraordinary efforts to preserve and improve the overall quality of the local streets and roads system. Imperial County is the overall winner with the city of Commerce, the town of Windsor, the city of San Diego and the county of Los Angeles also winning in specific categories. Full descriptions of the winning projects and finalists can be found at www.cacities.org/2017LSRAwards
Sponsored by the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and County Engineers Association of California, (CEAC) the Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards Program recognizes best practices that reduce waste and costs and can be replicated by other jurisdictions. The awards are also an acknowledgement of the cities and counties that promote sustainability in the local transportation system.
“Local governments really do have this ‘can-do’ spirit, especially when facing difficult conditions,” said Jay Spurgin, president of the League of California Cities Public Works Department and the public works director for the city of Thousand Oaks. “We see it on a daily basis, but I don’t think the general public recognizes it. So it’s good to celebrate some of these achievements in a more public fashion.”
“This year, with all the storm damage to our local streets and roads, it’s even more important to recognize the need to provide adequate resources for our transportation projects, as well the value that these projects provide to our local communities,” said John Presleigh, president of the County Engineer’s Association and the Santa Cruz County public works director. “The public and policy makers need to know that when we have the resources, we can provide the highest level of service on our streets and roadway systems for our local communities.”
Imperial County: Salton City Roadway Project
Imperial County is committed to improving the overall quality of its road system in the most cost-effective, environmentally beneficial and safest manner. In keeping with the county’s commitment, the 2.8-mile Salton City Roadways project employed a sustainable engineering approach that strengthens or recycles existing on-site materials instead of the more costly and more environmentally detrimental remove and replace construction method.
This project achieved the following impressive environmental benefits:
- Sixty-seven percent recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) usage, recycling 11,043 tons of existing asphalt assets;
- Conservation of 24,774 tons of non-renewable aggregate resources;
- Landfill avoidance of 13,594 cubic yards of subgrade soils;
- Elimination of 4,701 heavily loaded trucks exporting and importing materials to the project site, along with their associated wear and tear on roads, traffic congestion, fuel, oil, energy usage; and
- Greenhouse gas emissions cost savings of over $1 million.
The Salton City Roadways project is an example of how the expertise of public works engineers helps solve the financial and environmental challenges with asphalt pavement infrastructure.
Efficient and Sustainable Road Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects
City of Commerce: Eastern Avenue Pavement Rehabilitation Project
Not a traditional pavement rehabilitation design and construction project, the work on Eastern Avenue involved extensive coordination with local businesses to ensure the roadway remained open and took into account the impact on the community. The city executed the project with a limited budget and condensed timeframe using an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective approach. Originally estimated to cost Commerce $2.3 million, the project ultimately totaled $1.5 million by using reclaimed asphalt concrete pavement instead of traditional techniques for the project. Saved resources were then invested in additional street rehabilitation projects that improved quality of life for residents.
Complete Streets Projects
Town of Windsor: Old Redwood Highway Improvement Project
Bell Village, the developer of Oakmont Senior Living, initiated the Old Redwood Highway improvement project, which is a model of a successful public-private partnership with benefits for the greater local community. Oakmont agreed to make improvements to the entire width of the Old Redwood Highway for the full length of the project. The town of Windsor agreed to reimburse Oakmont for the non-project side of the highway improvements in the form of development impact fee credits.
Old Redwood Highway now features green bike lanes, extra wide sidewalks, two roundabout-controlled intersections, LED streetlights, reverse angle parking, elevated walkways to protect the root structure of some of the heritage oak trees, stormwater drainage units and two pedestrian activated rectangular rapid flashing beacon warning systems at crosswalks. This complete street project’s innovative features significantly improve safety and access for the pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles, which will benefit residents and visitors well into the future.
Safety or Intelligent Transportation System Projects
City of San Diego: Mira Mesa Phase 1 Adaptive Traffic Control System
Activated in summer 2016, Mira Mesa Phase 1 adaptive traffic control system is the city of San Diego’s most complex system deployment designed to improve traffic flow, reduce travel times, lower greenhouse gas emissions and enhance safety in a traffic-congested area. The InSync traffic control system was already in use at nine intersections on Lusk Boulevard where the technology reduced travel times by 24 percent, stops by 61 percent and fuel consumption by 24 percent. These results led the city to install InSync at an additional 11 intersections, including three controlled by Caltrans, for the Mira Mesa Phase 1 project. The project employs high capacity Ethernet radios with HD video transfer capabilities to bridge communication gaps between several signals. Completed by San Diego’s Special Projects Team in less than two months, Mira Mesa Phase 1 is an example of inter-agency cooperation that established a future framework for city of San Diego/Caltrans projects.
Efficient and Sustainable Bridge Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects
County of Los Angeles: Bridge Capacity System
Collaborating with Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works developed an innovative, cost-effective and user-friendly program for California regulatory agencies to process oversize overweight transportation (OOT) permits.
The partnering agencies created the web-based Bridge Capacity System (BCS) to streamline the review process. BCS provides local regulatory agencies an efficient process to comply with OOT permit requirements that protect existing bridges, ensure public safety, and improve the sustainability of local bridges. Its functionality can verify inputted weights of a permit vehicle against the load carrying capacity of all bridges on a route and check bridge clearances to prevent truck collisions with superstructures. Staff of any engineering experience can conduct a highly technical review in a quick and effective manner. The BCS functionality helps reduce the probability of over usage to preserve and protect our local bridges for commuter safety and the program collects data from the most highly crossed bridges to analyze mitigation and funding needs for future bridge maintenance.