The League of California Cities, County Engineers Association of California (CEAC), and California State Association of Counties® (CSAC) are proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads (LSR) Project Awards. Counties and cities throughout California were recognized for creative and cost-effective projects that improve local streets, roads, and bridges.
Sponsored by the League, CEAC, and CSAC, the Outstanding LSR Project Awards Program also highlights cities and counties that promote fiscal and environmental sustainability in the local transportation system. Due to COVID-19, these awards were presented virtually as the annual CEAC conference was canceled in compliance with local health orders.
“We applaud the excellence and dedication demonstrated by all of these city- and county-level award winners,” said League Public Works Department President and Pomona Public Works Director Rene Guerrero. “The projects serve as important reminders of the innovation in sustainability happening on a local level to improve safety and accessibility to roadways for residents in a way that is responsible and can be replicated across the state and nation.”
This year’s top winner, Santa Barbara County, is recognized for innovations in sustainability with the Ortega Ridge Mechanically Stabilized Tire Aggregate Wall, where a failed roadway embankment was reconstructed using recycled tires.
“Not even a pandemic like COVID-19 can put a damper on the innovation and excellence these projects represent,” said Trinity County Director of Transportation and President of the County Engineers Association of California Rick Tippett. “While we celebrate each of these winners, we are reminded that work must be done to ensure funding for future projects.”
Infrastructure projects like these are in jeopardy due to anticipated budget cuts related to the COVID-19 economic downturn, with local governments in California bracing for reductions in fuel tax revenues of nearly half a billion dollars. CSAC and the League are urging Congress to include funding for transportation infrastructure in the next coronavirus relief package to ensure these innovative programs can continue. CSAC and the League also encourage Congress to ensure that infrastructure funds could be passed through to local governments of all sizes to bolster much needed infrastructure improvements on local streets and roads.
Brief descriptions of the winning projects are included below. Full descriptions of all the winners and finalists are available on the Save California Streets website
Santa Barbara County
Ortega Ridge Mechanically Stabilized Tire Aggregate Wall
To view a video about Tire-Derived Aggregate and how it’s used, click here
Santa Barbara County Public Works reconstructed a failed roadway embankment using recycled tires for the Ortega Ridge Road Slide Repair project, restoring an unsafe road and diverting over 80,000 tires from California’s landfills in the form of Tire-Derived Aggregate (TDA) fill. Ongoing settlement resulted in cracks growing up to six inches wide and deep. In 2015, the county closed the roadway as it could no longer support vehicle loads. At that time, more than 30 inches of asphalt had been placed on the roadway over the years. This pilot project, a partnership between the State of California CalRecycle and the County, combined the use of TDA and Mechanically Stabilized Earth elements. Using an innovative combination of these design elements, the county streamlined design and construction, reduced environmental impacts, created a smaller construction footprint, and realized cost savings.
Efficient and Sustainable Bridge Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects
City of Santa Cruz
San Lorenzo River Parkway Phase III Trestle Trail Project
Prior to May 2019, Santa Cruz cyclists and pedestrians only had a four-foot-wide walkway to cross the Railroad Trestle Bridge — a core city pathway. Thanks to the completed San Lorenzo River Parkway Phase III/Trestle Trail Project, they now have a 10-foot-wide ADA compliant “Trestle Trail” providing improved safety and convenience. Other project attributes include a bike-friendly railing, a slip-resistant surface, low-level lighting, and an extended width, making it easier for cyclists to pass one another. The Trestle Trail is cantilevered from the existing railroad trestle; saving the city over $4 million compared to an earlier plan that would have required a new bridge.
Complete Streets Projects
City of Hayward
Mission Boulevard Corridor Improvements Phase 2
This Complete Streets project to improve multi-modal access is part of a three-phase improvement to a major north-south arterial corridor. The Phase 2 improvements include new sidewalks, curb and gutter, storm drain improvements, pavement rehabilitation using Cold In-Place Recycling and overlay, new traffic signals with adaptive traffic management system, improvements to bus stops, new LED street and pedestrian lighting, new Class IV bike lanes with raised islands, landscaped median and more. Extending over 7.5 miles within the City of Hayward, the Mission Boulevard Corridor Improvement Project is transforming a severely congested and barren thoroughfare into an attractively designed community with ladders of opportunity for the disadvantaged population living in the corridor.
Efficient and Sustainable Road Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects
Tomorrow’s Paving Today
Since 1994, public works has had to rely almost solely on Highway Users Tax revenues, a source that was inadequate even when it was established 25 years ago, and since that time it has never been adjusted for inflation. With the cost of construction climbing steadily, the purchasing power of gas tax revenues has been in a free-fall, and as a result Yuba County’s roadways continued to deteriorate. Yuba County leveraged future SB 1 dollars to perform four years of road fixes in a single summer with savings to repair 30 percent more roadways.
Safety or Intelligent Transportation System Projects
City of Santa Clarita
Give Me Green
GiveMeGreen! is a free smartphone application developed in partnership with Sensys Networks that allows bicyclists to be detected as they approach an intersection. By integrating the new technology into the existing traffic signal and adding dynamic signage to inform drivers and cyclists when the system is activated, the city has provided an innovative, cost-effective enhancement to the safety, efficiency, and convenience at four intersections along one of its busiest traffic corridors. The GiveMeGreen! application, combined with existing intelligent intersection technology, provides a good example of how smart technology can improve safety, decrease congestion and improve the travel experience for a new generation of connected travelers.
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.