The planned 10-week closure of Marsh Road in Atherton began Tuesday, May 31, as the town starts construction on a replacement drainage culvert and a new steel barrier to keep cars out of the ditch.
Marsh Road will be narrowed to two lanes from the current four from Bay Road to Fair Oaks Avenue, allowing access for residents and local businesses only; one-way traffic will be allowed from Fair Oaks Avenue to Middlefield Road, but only for residents who have driveways on the street.
Signs will direct motorists to avoid Marsh Road by using Bay Road or Middlefield Road to get to Willow Road in Menlo Park, Woodside Road in Redwood City or 5th Avenue in Redwood City.
After June 21, with school out, signs will direct motorists to use Ringwood Avenue in Atherton and Menlo Park. Freeway signs will direct motorists to use Woodside Road and Willow Road.
A number of local nearby streets in Atherton and North Fair Oaks will be limited to local use only to deter cut-through traffic. Residents have been given placards to display on their cars and for the use of their visitors.
Four-way stops will be added at several intersections just off the detour route, with flaggers posted to check for placards. Vehicles without placards, but not bicyclists or pedestrians, will be told to turn around. Town officials said drivers can be ticketed for ignoring a flagger.
Flaggers will be posted at the intersections of Marsh Road and Fair Oaks Avenue during work hours and at the intersection of 15th Avenue and 18th Avenue.
Flaggers will also be stationed on Middlefield Road near Fair Oaks Lane to help bicyclists cross at high-use hours.
A number of streets will be closed to through traffic to stop motorists from cutting through, including Holbrook Lane, Palmer Lane, Oak Drive and San Benito, Placitas and Encina avenues in Atherton, plus sections of 6th through 18th avenues in North Fair Oaks.
The left-turn pocket to eastbound Marsh Road and the northbound Middlefield right turn to eastbound Marsh Road will be closed.
The town has allocated $4.2 million to pay for the project.
Construction hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. No work will take place on Sundays or holidays.
After hours, a single westbound lane will be open along Marsh Road for residents and others. "Wrong way" signs will be placed at the intersection of Middlefield and Marsh to prohibit eastbound Marsh Road traffic. A continuous raised concrete barrier will separate the single westbound lane from the construction zone.
The Atherton Police Department will patrol the neighborhoods affected by the detour and the California Highway Patrol has been contracted by the town for traffic control at Marsh Road and Fair Oaks Avenue during work hours for the first week.
Atherton has set up a special phone line for the Marsh Road project: (650) 847-4045.