Palo Alto is slated to begin work on many street-improvement projects this month, including sidewalk replacement along school routes, improvements to 40 city blocks and preventive maintenance of 31 miles of public streets, according to a press release.
These improvements are backed by a $3.3 million increase in the annual funding for street maintenance and repair that went into effect July 1, raising it from $1.8 million to $5.1 million. The city also received an additional $2.5 million in federal grants over the past two years for street improvements.
The city's overall goal is to increase its average Pavement Condition Index, which measures the quality of street surfaces on a scale of 1 to 100. Since 2009, Palo Alto's score has increased from 72 to 77, but the ultimate goal is to reach "excellent" (85) citywide by 2019.
This month, the city will begin repairing and replacing broken concrete slabs on 40 blocks, including sections of Cowper Street, Addison Avenue, Lowell Avenue and Emerson Street. Construction is expected to last for four months, according to the press release.
A school-route sidewalk improvement project will repair heavily used sidewalks within a half-mile radius of 11 Palo Alto schools to make them safe for walking and biking. Work closest to the schools is set to be completed before school starts in August, according to the press release.
The remaining work will be completed by the end of the year. The schools include Addison Elementary School, Barron Park Elementary School, Briones Elementary School, Duveneck Elementary School, El Carmelo Elementary School, Escondido Elementary School, Walter Hays Elementary School, Jordan Middle School, Terman Middle School, Gunn High School and Palo Alto High School. Work at Palo Alto's six remaining schools has already been finished or will be included in an upcoming project, according to the press release.
Work this summer also includes preventative maintenance of 31 streets currently in good condition. The city will do spot asphalt repairs, seal cracks, remove striping and then reseal the streets' surfaces.
Ten miles of Palo Alto streets will also be repaved with new asphalt, including much of Forest Avenue and the Southgate neighborhood. Construction is expected to begin in summer or early fall, according to the press release.