Draft of Overcrossing Feasibility Study Released

City Council to Consider Study Recommendations at June 4th Meeting

The City’s Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Project reached a major milestone in May with the release of a draft feasibility study report. The report outlines the project’s community outreach and planning analysis to date and recommends preferred bridge landing areas and related roadway improvements that, if approved, will move into the environmental review and preliminary design phase this summer. Presentation of the document’s findings are scheduled for a City Council study session on Tuesday, June 4th at City Hall.

    The proposed over-crossing alignments between Clarke Ave & Newell Rd

The proposed over-crossing alignments between Clarke Ave & Newell Rd

Project Update

The feasibility study, developed by Alta Planning + Design with assistance from Biggs Cardosa Associates and BKF Engineers, recommends two similar bridge alignments – Alts 1 and 4 – be carried forward into the environmental assessment and preliminary design phases. These alignments are preferred because they do not require users to cross busy intersections, provide opportunities for seamless connections to the Gateway 101 shopping center and nearby schools, and could be integrated with other citywide infrastructure needs including critical water resources and public gathering space for the Woodland neighborhood. The latter feature is also seen as a way to provide activation and ‘eyes on the street’ that will help improve bridge user safety and demand. Additional improvements along Clarke Avenue and Newell Road are also recommended to provide safe bicycling and walking access to the overcrossing from surrounding neighborhoods.An earlier version of the feasibility study findings were presented to the City’s Public Works and Transportation Commission on February 20th, 2013. City and consultant staff presented an analysis of the four bridge alignment alternatives, which included a tentative recommendation for a single preferred alternative (Alignment 1). The Commission voted 4-1 to recommend this alignment to City Council, although public feedback and subsequent re-evaluation led to several important revisions within the report. These included development of a fifth bridge alternative – called Alignment 2A – that would not require acquisition of private property on the west/south side of Highway 101, and continued consideration of Alignment 4 due to its shared landing areas with Alignment 1.

Due to the project’s complexity, a second meeting will be scheduled with City Council to formally accept and/or modify the report after it is presented at the June 4 study session. If and when the recommendations are confirmed by City Council, the selection of a preferred alignment will be based on refined bridge engineering analysis, design coordination with potential water resource and public space concepts, and confirmation of environmental impacts. Additional public outreach is also anticipated. The estimated cost for the project, including acquisition of right-of-way, is between $6.5 – 9.5 million. Funding for final design and construction has not yet been secured.

Hard copies of the report are available at the City’s public library on University Avenue. For future project updates, please subscribe to our e-mail list located on the top left corner of this page or contact Bret Swain, City of East Palo Alto Public Works, at 650-853-3159 or bswain@cityofepa.org.