The County Engineers Association of California (CEAC) and the League of California Cities® Public Works Officers’ Institute today announced the winners of the 2018 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards at their annual spring meeting in Monterey. Cities and Counties throughout California are being recognized for creative and cost-effective projects that improve local streets, roads and bridges.
The City of Mill Valley is the overall winner, being honored for its Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan, a project that balanced the need to improve critical infrastructure and safety features while preserving Mill Valley’s character. Other winners include the City of Orinda, the City and County of San Francisco, the City of Monterey, and Trinity County. Brief descriptions of the winning projects are included below.
The Annual Local Streets and Road Awards are given to projects that highlight local government innovation and how adept cities and counties are at using the latest techniques in road construction and repair.
“People expect their local governments to wisely invest their tax dollars in their communities and implement cutting edge solutions in delivering local services,” Charles Herbertson, President of the League’s Public Works Department and Director of Public Works for Culver City. “The projects receiving awards today show the ways in which cities and counties can deliver much-needed transportation improvements that are cost-effective, environmentally sound and help make our streets, roads and bridges safer.”
“We’re recognizing five winning projects and several more finalists in each category,” said Jeff Pratt, the President of CEAC and Ventura County’s Public Works Director. “Each award highlights how local governments are implementing new and better ways to deliver projects on time, on budget and with as little disruption to the community as possible. These amount to a best practices manual for local transportation improvements.”
Brief descriptions of the winning projects are included below. Full descriptions of all the winners and finalists are available in the LSR Brochure.
City of Mill Valley – Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan with Full-Depth Reclamation
Miller Avenue functions as a central corridor serving the circulation, commerce, recreation and experiential needs of Mill Valley’s residents and visitors.
The corridor was established with the railroad in 1889, leading to median parking to accommodate cars and trains. The Miller Avenue Streetscape Plan is the first comprehensive design with a primary goal of creating a safe and efficient multi-modal corridor consistent with the complete streets principles of design, including features to accommodate all users — vehicles, transit, bicycles and pedestrians. The plan also improved the underground and roadway infrastructure, preserved and enhanced the corridor experience with new drought-resistant landscaping and rain gardens to reduce peak storm discharge into nearby creeks, maintained cultural features of Mill Valley and improved the overall infrastructure of the corridor.
A 1,700-foot stretch of the project eliminated frontage roads, realigning the street to accommodate parking, travel lanes, accessible sidewalks and buffered bike lanes. Due to the large amount of reconstruction required, combined with elevation changes and difficult soil conditions, the roadway construction utilized full depth reclamation (FDR), pulverizing 18 inches of the underlying roadway that was reused for ground materials and overlaid with new asphalt. FDR is 50 percent less expensive than traditional road repair methods, reducing excavation as well as the import and export of materials. Although rarely implemented in an urban setting, the city was able to successfully apply this method of road reconstruction, lowering overall truck trips hauling materials in and out, and reducing the cost of replacing the pavement. Repaving occurred overnight, reducing the work time by three to four weeks to minimize disruption to the community and impact to businesses.
Efficient and Sustainable Road Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects
City of Orinda - The 2017 Annual and Measure J and L Pavement Rehabilitation Project
The City of Orinda needed to repair 92.7 miles of failed pavement. By using full depth reclamation (FDR), the city was able to implement the best and most sustainable technology available. When complete, the project will provide a perpetual pavement section that only needs the wearing surface maintained and does not require new aggregates or removing the old material. FDR projects reduce energy consumption by 28 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 48 percent. Funded by residents through Measure J and L, the city’s pavement rehabilitation program completed reconstruction of 63 failed residential roads, repairing a total of 11.4-lane miles in 2017. Orinda became the first Bay Area public agency to embark on such an aggressive road rehabilitation program by using FDR. With the sustainable process, Orinda projects that it will raise its pavement condition index (PCI) rating from 41 to 88 on a scale of 0 (failed) to 100 (excellent) by 2019.
Complete Streets Projects
City & County of San Francisco – Mansell Streetscape Improvement Project
Mansell Street was developed in the 1950s as part of a never-completed cross-town freeway and primarily served motorized vehicles. The traffic lane widths and three different posted speed limits encouraged speeding. Pedestrians had to walk on the street or climb over a guardrail and walk along an informal path to access different park facilities or to commute between neighborhoods. Cyclists also had to share the road with vehicles traveling at speeds up to 45 miles per hour and public transit users had to wait on the street for a bus.
The project addressed pedestrian safety and bicycle access by reducing the number of vehicular lanes from four to two (one lane each direction), separating vehicular traffic and creating a multi-use path. In several sections, the project included the construction of a sidewalk, class II and III bicycle facilities, safety improvements including raised crosswalks and flashing beacons at some intersections and a corner bulb-out. Street-level lighting, trees and landscaping and site furnishings were included to make this a complete streets project. Additionally, the jogging path was also paved with pervious asphalt to help reduce runoff and to keep the path dry for runners during rain.
Safety or Intelligent Transportation System Projects
City of Monterey – Holman Highway 68 Roundabout
The Holman Highway 68 Roundabout was designed to relieve congestion at the busy intersection of Holman Highway 68, southbound Highway 1 ramps, and 17 Mile Drive near the entrance to Pebble Beach and the area’s only community hospital. The selected improvements feature two closely spaced roundabouts, one of which is a teardrop roundabout located at the access point to 17 Mile Drive.
The roundabout solution addressed congestion mitigation leading to reduced vehicle idling times and greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating traffic signals and stop signs. It improved response times and access to the community hospital and local fire department, as well as provided protection of the surrounding Monterey Forest and enhanced access to the existing scenic corridor.
The project was one of the first in the state to use intersection control evaluation (ICE) process to help evaluate and identify the best solution for intersections located in the state right-of-way. The process demonstrates the safety and operational performance advantages of roundabout control over signal control by providing a side-by-side comparison. It also establishes a streamlined Caltrans approval process for consensus building.
Leveraging the greater capacity of the roundabouts, the city ultimately replaced a previously approved widening project of State Route 68 that included a bridge replacement and signalized intersection.
Efficient and Sustainable Bridge Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects
Trinity County – Bridge Demonstration Project 5 Bridge Replacements delivered by Design Build in 12 Months
Trinity County entered into an agreement with Central Federal Lands Highway Division to replace five county-owned bridges by design-build methods. The bridges were identified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and approved by Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for replacement under the FHWA Highway Bridge Program.
The county wanted to accelerate the project, augment staff duties and utilize every day counts design and construction methods. Using precast abutments and deck panels reduced construction duration to as little as two weeks per bridge. The design/build team was hired to design, construct and acquire the necessary right-of-way. The pilot program cost $7.9 million, coming in at $800,000, or 10 percent, below budget. It took 12 months to design the project, acquire right-of-way and complete construction.
Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.