Sat08302014

News

Construction ends for two projects, ramps up in south Los Altos


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Work on the San Antonio Road streetscape project wrapped up last week after construction crews planted vines for a living wall.

Following is an update on three major Los Altos construction projects.

First Street streetscape

Work on Phase 1B of the city’s First Street streetscape project is set to wrap up – albeit temporarily – to accommodate the annual Arts & Wine Festival.

The project includes widening the First Street sidewalks and corners, installing new storm drains and rain gardens and adding new streetlights and landscaping. The project was broken into phases to allow work along First Street, between State and Shasta streets, to wrap up ahead of this weekend’s festival.

Erica Ray, Los Altos public information coordinator, said work remains on schedule.

Crews have completed sidewalk construction on the northwest side of the street (near Bumble and Area 151) and installed irrigation for landscaping along the block, Ray said. They have completed the curb and gutter demolition in front of Pilates studio Evolve at 106 First St. – on the opposite side of the street. Concrete-pouring was scheduled to begin Monday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) to form a new gutter and curb in time for the festival.

Ray said all but one drive aisle in Parking Plaza 7 would be open and accessible from First Street when the festival opens. Pedestrians should be unimpeded during the weekend’s activities.

Post-festival, the city is expected to commence streetscape work, which will require closing the State and First streets intersection for six weeks, starting Monday.

The city will open the State Street Green July 18 – a temporary public gathering area with green turf, seating and scheduled events – to occupy the closed-off roadway between First and Second streets.

“It’ll probably be open for people to walk through and enjoy by the afternoon of July 18,” Ray said.

The landscaping and streetlight installations are scheduled after the work at the intersection of State and First streets winds up in late August or early September.

San Antonio Road streetscape

The San Antonio Road streetscape project is essentially finished, according to Ray.

The project, which began in January and experienced delays related to the discovery of lead-tainted soil, called for the widening of sidewalks and curbs along San Antonio to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, new median landscaping and the installation of rain gardens to capture stormwater runoff.

Crews wrapped up the project last week by planting vines along a 4-foot-high living wall along San Antonio. The wall screens views of cars in Parking Plaza 3.

Ray said that for a few days, residents would see construction workers in the area putting the “finishing touches” on the project, including minor crosswalk striping work near curb cuts.

“There may be some traffic cones up once they actually stripe the area, but there shouldn’t be any major lane closures,” she said.

Homestead Road safety improvements

While construction nears an end along San Antonio, work is just beginning at the other end of Los Altos along Homestead Road.

The project, scheduled for completion in November, includes the installation of a traffic signal and crosswalk at the entrance to the Foothill Crossing shopping center. New median islands and landscaping and a Class 1 pedestrian and bicycle pathway will be added on the north side of the road between Foothill Expressway and Belleville Way.

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project began in May, slightly later than its slated kickoff toward the end of April. Ray attributed the delay to contractor scheduling, but added that residents in the area can expect “to see the project move very quickly.”

The project’s contractor – Pavex Construction – has focused on storm drains and grading for the pathway. The project is still on schedule, Ray added.

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