Note: Atherton says that the consultant made a mistake that was included in the report that was originally presented to the council, and that the recommended closure would last 12 weeks, not eight.
Atherton's public works director has recommended the town completely close Marsh Road within its boundaries for 12 weeks this summer, and then close one lane for 42 more days, to make major repairs on the Atherton Channel drainage culvert as quickly as possible.
Public Works Director Michael Kashiwagi said completely shutting down Marsh Road for 12 weeks, with construction from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, will allow the job to be completed faster.
Because the work on the culvert is in a waterway, the state allows work only between April 15 and October 15, leaving the town scrambling to be able to complete the job quickly. The town is also trying to schedule around school vacations.
Mr. Kashiwagi said exactly what construction schedule the town will choose is still under review, and will not be final until after a bid is approved, probably at the April 20 City Council meeting.
Mr. Kashiwagi said the town has two other options:
● Closing the road from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for six weeks, with one-lane closures the rest of the construction period. This could lead to work in the channel not being completed until Oct. 15, with more work outside the channel not finishing until Dec. 1, he wrote in the memo.
● Closing Marsh Road for six full weekends during the summer, from Friday at 9:30 p.m. to Sunday at 8 p.m., with one-lane closures during the week, and weekday working hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This schedule should lead to work in the channel being completed by Sept. 15 and the remaining work done by Nov. 1, he wrote in the memo.
Mr. Kashiwagi said he recommends the 12-week full closure because it offers the best chance for completing the job by the Oct. 15 deadline. He estimates that under that scenario, the work in the channel could be completed by Sept. 1, with the entire job done by Sept. 15.
He said that scenario would also probably lead to a lower bid, more predictable traffic disruptions for neighbors, and allow the town to complete most construction before local schools resume classes.
In January the town finally received the permits needed to make the long-anticipated repairs on the section of the drainage culvert that runs along Marsh Road between Middlefield Road and the border with Redwood City, near Bay Road. The U-shaped reinforced concrete culvert will be designed so it could possibly later be covered over, and will have a steel guard rail to deter cars from plunging in.
The channel is now separated from Marsh only by a chain link fence, which has been broken through by errant motorists at least four times since March 2015.
Marsh Road, which intersects with U.S. 101 and Bayfront Expressway, is used by many commuters and serves as a major response route for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and other agencies' emergency vehicles.