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New asphalt on Alma will be torn up?

Original post made by Nayeli, Midtown, on May 9, 2013

Is there any truth to the rumor that PG&E will need to tear up part of the newly repaved road along Alma Street?

If so, this is a TERRIBLE lapse in communication between Palo Alto and PG&E.

I am also frustrated that PG&E is scheduled to burden commuters and residents along Alma for another six weeks!

It seems just like yesterday that PG&E promised "minimal noise" over a period of "4-6 weeks" that ended up taking quite a few months with incredibly loud noise.

Will this be a yearly intrusion?

Comments (4)

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Here is the City of Palo Alto announcement (which we also received in the mail):

Web Link

"Line #132 - Mid-May: Additional valve work on this line is required and there will be exacavations impacting northbound traffic at Alma near Oregon Expressway. More details will be posted as soon as they are finalized."

It seems that excavations are needed...which doesn't make sense given the recent completion (two weeks ago) of the expensive repaving project.

IF PG&E excavates the street, will they simply fill up the holes that they dig...or will the street be repaved with the same special mixture (containing recycled tires) to reduce noise?

If all of this is true, then someone really dropped the ball with this one.

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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm


I have lived in PA for 23 years, and since I moved here, I have regularly seen recently repaved streets be torn up for utility work. It's nothing new. However outrageous it is, it's just a routine thing in PA, including on major roads.

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Posted by Scirocco
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 10, 2013 at 10:14 am

I have lived here twenty years, and have witnessed the repaving of Alma twice before now. On one occasion, the street was torn up only two weeks later! On the other occasion, it was less than one month later.

Obviously, there is no coordination between utility departments and paving departments.

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm

It concerns me that the newly paved Alma St. that was touted to be green, smooth, easy on the tires and have "noise reduction" emphasis -- but will be torn apart in multiple places because of a failure to communicate between the City and PG&E.

If PG&E plans to rip up sections of this street -- which hasn't even been re-striped yet -- then this is utterly ridiculous and unacceptable!

As we know, PG&E's "estimates" about time (at this point, "4-6 weeks") are always on the conservative end. A couple of years ago, their "4-6 week test" ended up taking half a year.

More importantly, we know that PG&E will do a shoddy job of "patching" the asphalt that they tear up. I suspect that they won't use the same "noise reduction" asphalt mixture too.

I'm surprised that this isn't much of an issue. Why couldn't Palo Alto speak with PG&E and have coordinated these tests BEFORE the street was paved?

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