More on Marsh Road closure and channel repair from Atherton City Manager George Rodericks

by Contributed Content on June 3, 2016

Editor’s note: The Town of Atherton City Manager George Rodericks posted the following on the town’s website:

Reminder: Marsh Road is closed from May 31 through August 15. Adjacent streets are closed to through traffic. These include the Atherton streets of Holbrook, Palmer, and San Benito, and County streets of Fair Oaks, Bay and 15th.

Please remember to use an alternate route. Local destination users are allowed on all streets; however, through traffic/commute traffic is not. Other neighborhood streets may have signage as well. Please respect these neighborhood restrictions and be courteous as you drive these areas. Obey local stop laws and speed limits. Local law enforcement will be present at times to enforce and monitor traffic flow during the construction project. For more information about the project, visit www.ci.Atherton.ca.us/marshroad.

The Marsh Road Project involves large grading machinery, crane work, pile driving, dust, back-up horns, boring, and excavation work. This work is very loud and involves machinery that creates extended and extreme vibrations. There are residences within 30 feet of the project site and driveways immediately adjacent to the project.

Marsh Road ditch repair_vertThe project construction hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Town investigated the possibility of over night construction but the time frame for the project would have extended beyond an acceptable timeline (Federal deadline) and the impact on residences 30 feet away for night construction for three to four months was determined to be too impactful. Overnight construction on freeways and off ramps is much further away from residential homes.

The immediate adjacent neighborhood of North Fair Oaks (County and Atherton) are regularly impacted by any traffic delays on Marsh Road as traffic cuts off at Fair Oaks, Bay and 15th Avenue and travels down the narrow adjacent residential streets in an attempt to bypass any traffic on Marsh Road. More than 20,000 vehicles travel along Marsh Road per day. It was determined to be too impactful to divert 20,000 vehicles from the larger collector Marsh Road to the adjacent residential streets of Holbrook, Palmer, San Benito, Fair Oaks, Bay and 15th as those streets are not designed to accommodate the impact.

Therefore, the Town worked with the cities of Menlo Park, Redwood City, and the County of San Mateo to design a regional traffic diversion plan to address the impact. Residents in the North Fair Oaks area and on Marsh Road were provided with placards to allow regular access while through traffic was diverted to the larger collector routes of Ringwood, Florence, 5th, Woodside Road, Bay and Willow. The placard enforcement in the Fair Oaks neighborhoods will be constant for the first couple weeks of the project and intermittent each week thereafter with traffic counts assisting the Town with identifying where the hotspots are and where/when enforcement needs to occur. Please help by avoiding these streets.

In addition to the North Fair Oaks neighborhood(s), local traffic only signs have been placed along the entrances to Lindenwood and other areas in Atherton, Menlo Park, and the County — particularly at streets that are cut-through streets for commuters to go from Bay to Ringwood to Middlefield to El Camino Real. While there are signs up, there are no flaggers or placards being used to manage the traffic flow. Enforcement in these areas is primarily by local law enforcement for stopping and speeding.

If you enter these areas you are encouraged to obey local traffic laws, stop at all stop signs, obey the speed limit and watch carefully for pedestrians. These streets are regularly used by pedestrians, cyclists, and children. Local law enforcement will not be lenient with those using these streets as cut through streets during the construction project. These streets are open to all users who have local destinations — local residences, schools, businesses, churches, etc. in Atherton and Menlo Park.

The Town encourages your patience [while the Drainage Channel Project is completed]. Engineers determined that the channel is in such a deteriorative state that failure could occur at any time. Failure of the channel would mean a failure of the roadway itself. If that had occurred, the roadway would be closed for far longer and the impact could have been far greater.

I understand that the project is in Atherton and the project is an Atherton project. However, the impact of this project is regional. The Atherton roadways, Marsh Road and Middlefield Road are used by more than 20,000 cars a day. Most of those trips are regional trips.

Every effort is being taken to address the impacts of the project. Your cooperation is appreciated. If you can avoid the area, please do so. If you cannot, please expect delay or expect to be re-routed as the situation may dictate. The traffic impact will lessen over the summer when school traffic dissipates and commuter traffic learns the diversion pattern.

Feel free to email me directly with any comments, questions, or concerns — grodericks@ci.atherton.ca.us. We will attempt to address any hot spots through out the impact areas. However, we will not be closing down other roadways or adding new placard systems in other areas beyond North Fair Oaks. There will be local law enforcement and other assistance as needed. Thank you for your patience.

Photos by Beverly Browne (c) 2016 taken today as the street side of the wall starts to come down

 

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