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Atherton council supports 12 week closure of Marsh Road this summer

Town working with neighboring communities to set detour details

Atherton's City Council at its March 16 meeting supported closing Marsh Road for 12 weeks this summer so work on repairing the Atherton Channel culvert can be done quickly.

Atherton Public Works Director Michael Kashiwagi had recommended the town completely close Marsh Road within its boundaries for eight weeks this summer, with one lane closed for 42 more days, to make major repairs on the Atherton Channel drainage culvert as quickly as possible. At the meeting, however, Mr. Kashiwagi said the consultant had miscounted and the full closure will actually last 12 weeks.

With other alternatives that would leave the road at least partially open for more of the summer, the project might not be completed before rainy season starts, he said.

Some council members suggested modifying the suggested work schedule of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday to include an earlier stop to construction on Saturdays, and a start as early as 7 a.m. The town's rules limit construction to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

"We're going to break our rules," said Mayor Elizabeth Lewis. "These are exceptions. It's got to be. The alternative is the road's going to collapse under somebody driving by and it's going to be a tragedy. We don't want that."

Mr. Kashiwagi said the town has met with staff from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, the city Menlo Park and San Mateo County, as well as the Atherton Police Department, about the detour plans. Atherton staff will follow up once the plans are complete and will meet with the California Highway Patrol and the fire district about emergency access. He said there will be continuous access for Marsh Road residents and emergency vehicles.

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