Driver's guide to road construction in Menlo Park


With El Nino rains largely past, and the dry season upon us, motorists can expect to encounter a lot more roadwork. Road repairs and traffic signal upgrades are underway on Sand Hill Road, Willow Road and Chilco Street in Menlo Park.

Sand Hill Road

From the Interstate 280 on ramp to Oak Avenue, the city is building a fiber optic network along Sand Hill Road to coordinate traffic signals based on real-time traffic conditions.

Upgraded cameras will provide visual feedback on traffic volume. Traffic signals could be controlled remotely – and the length of green lights extended, for example – using a combination of software and in-person monitoring, according to Rene Baile, Menlo Park transportation engineer.

The system would also enable emergency vehicles to control traffic signals if necessary to expedite their travel.

The anticipated completion date for the system is mid-summer, after which drivers can expect fewer stops at traffic lights, Mr. Baile said.

The same adaptive traffic-signal technology is in use on El Camino Real between Quarry Road and Encinal Avenue, he said.

Construction work may close some vehicular lanes between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and bike lanes between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

At night, some lane closures are planned on Sand Hill Road west of Saga Lane due to a separate project: a PG&E pipeline installation.

Chilco Street

A three-phase project to install pedestrian and bike paths on Chilco Street is underway.

Work will start on the stretch of Chilco Street between the old Dumbarton rail line and Constitution Drive. Funded by Facebook, the project is expected to be completed in May, at the same time that renovations wrap up on Facebook's Building 23, a former TE Connectivity office space.

Occasional car lane, bike lane and shoulder closures are expected.

Phase two of the bike and pedestrian path installation will stretch from where the street curves to the intersection with Constitution Drive, and is planned for completion in summer 2016. Phase three of the installation, to cover between the Chilco Street-Terminal Avenue intersection and where Chilco Street crosses the Dumbarton rail line, is expected to be completed in the next six to eight months, and the final stretch, between Constitution Drive and Bayfront Expressway, near the Menlo Gateway hotel, is expected to be completed sometime around the end of the year.

Willow Road

Willow Road projects are underway at several locations:

●Upgrades to traffic-detection video and traffic signals at Gilbert and Coleman avenues may cause occasional lane and shoulder closures. The changes will enable emergency vehicles to control traffic signals when necessary to expedite travel. At Willow and Gilbert, a traffic signal shutdown is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 30, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The work is expected to take up to eight hours.

● Road and signal improvements at Willow Road and Newbridge Street widening the street pavement, adding street lights, upgrading traffic signals, and installing signage and landscaping – could result in occasional car and bike lane, sidewalk and shoulder closures. The project is sponsored by Facebook.

According to Ebby Sohrabi, Menlo Park senior civil engineer, the most intensive part of the road work has been completed, and the whole project is planned for completion sometime around the end of June or early July. Occasional lane closures are expected, he said, but the agency will coordinate with other projects happening, such as closures planned for Marsh Road, to make sure closures don't happen at the same time for commuters.

● At Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway, upgrades to traffic signals, drainage, sidewalks, curbs, ADA ramps, street lights and pavement could cause occasional lane or shoulder closures. The project is sponsored by Facebook. According to Mr. Sohrabi, the project has been under construction for some time and is near completion. No lane closures are planned for the rest of the project, and it is estimated to be completed next month.

Go to the city's construction news web page to stay updated.

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