Pardon the dust

Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Workers last week dug trenches along Homestead Road for the installation of a traffic light. The city also reopened the State and First streets intersection last week.

Following are updates on three ongoing public construction projects in Los Altos.

First Street streetscape

City officials last week reopened the First and State streets intersection as construction crews wound down the second phase of the First Street streetscape project.

The conclusion of construction work at the intersection Aug. 28 coincided with the end of the city’s temporary pop-up park, the State Street Green. The park officially closed Aug. 26.

Los Altos Special Project Manager Dave Brees told the Town Crier that mainly “punch-list items” remain this week for the two-part project, which began April 29 before taking a brief hiatus in July to accommodate the annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival downtown. Work on the State and First streets intersection picked up just days after the festival ended. Brees said the construction project would be “substantially complete” by Friday.

“There’s always tweaks that come up, but for the most part, the project will be done,” said Brees, who added that workers installed traffic signs and streetlights while also striping portions of State Street ahead of the intersection reopening.

Despite the intersection’s reopening, Brees added, a portion of First Street – between State Street and Plaza North (across from Safeway construction) – will remain at least partially closed until Friday as workers put the finishing touches on various project elements, including masonry work on the First Street sidewalk and landscaping.

Homestead Road safety improvements

According to city officials, work on the Homestead Road Safety Improvements Project remains on schedule.

“I’m anticipating that it’ll be on time – in November,” said Los Altos Assistant Civil Engineer Kathy Small.

She noted that residents should also be able to see a more defined shape of the reformed roadway after workers poured curbs for new median islands along Homestead Road. Small cautioned that motorists should expect to experience some limited left-turn capabilities from Homestead onto neighboring streets between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to “avoid traffic conflicts.”

Small said one significant aspect of the $1.5 million project – a Class I bike and pedestrian pathway between El Sereno Avenue and the Sunnyvale border – was completed and opened last week.

Plenty of other work remains.Crews last week began demolishing the curb near the Trader Joe’s driveway entrance to prepare for the installation of a traffic signal. Trench work to house the signal’s wiring and other components also began last week, Small said, and is expected to continue for at least two weeks.

Small anticipates that the new signal will be installed toward the end of the project in November.

Fallen Leaf Lane sewer main replacement

Pipe bursting – a trenchless way to replace buried pipelines – has been completed along Fallen Leaf Lane between Morton Avenue and Jones Lane, according to the city’s Public Works Department. Saw cutting, a metalworking process, has also been completed in the area.

The saw-cutting work, as well as continued work on manhole base modifications, will allow on-site crews to insert new sewer lines and prepare for asphalt/concrete paving. Open-cut trenching on Fallen Leaf near Ben Roe Drive has been completed as well, department officials noted.

The California Water Service Co. is scheduled to begin work in early October on a water service line that crosses the city’s sewer line. The work will likely result in temporary periods of low water pressure, according to officials with Cal Water and the city. Residents will receive advance notification of anticipated work dates and water service interruptions.

Although most of the work along Fallen Leaf is complete, city engineers and contractors are reviewing all post-construction materials in case any additional work is needed.

City officials warned that motorists traveling along the project area on Fallen Leaf could expect traffic delays from time to time. Traffic signs will remain in place and flagmen will be on-site to maintain two-way traffic flow in the area during delays.

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