The Middlefield Road Corridor Improvement project we completed for Redwood City was a gateway corridor endeavor that began at State Route 84 and continued northwest towards downtown Redwood City. Before our intervention, Middlefield Road was a wide asphalt street with narrow sidewalks, overhead power lines, minimal lighting, and lengthy crosswalks. Stormwater build-up was also a challenge because of improper drainage, one we were determined to change. The Middlefield Road Corridor Improvements project successfully breathed new life into the area.
The Middlefield Road project was carried out in three phases. The first phase covered the removal of any power poles and overhead wires that were in the way. The second phase included the creation of the separate bikeway. The third involved the Caltrans intersection between Middlefield Road and Redwood Road, which had separate permit requirements.
Given the impact we knew it would have on the community, we sought to hear the community’s input and used their feedback to shape the project through several public meetings. In addition, our team collaborated with nearby homeowners and went door-to-door to make sure our plans satisfied all parties involved in the project.
The results of our community outreach revealed that safer and easier access to Hoover Elementary School was a top priority — the existing system involved passage over a busy road. Crosswalks were added on Middlefield Road that covered all four directions. We also ensured all new crossings were ADA compliant, and we used colored concrete to improve both accessibility and visibility. We also added several shade trees and overhead and decorative pedestrian streetlights to the area.
Bellecci strives to use environmentally friendly techniques and materials in all our projects, and Middlefield Road was no different. We designed stormwater treatment planters with bio-retentive soil to address the drainage issue, also ensuring that hydrocarbons in the water are filtered out, as required by the California Water Board.
We developed and carried out plans for an ADA compliant sidewalk level, and a Class IV (or separated) bike lane and protected sidewalks, ensuring safer travel for cyclists as well. This even included an instalment of bicycle signals and signage for the separated bikeway, an innovative idea that hadn’t been done prior to this project. We also were able to shorten the existing pedestrian crosswalk from sixty-five feet of solid asphalt to about twenty-four feet between pedestrian refuges, making for safer pedestrian crossing conditions.
Overall, the Middlefield Road project is a testament to our commitment to transforming communities, and we were happy to provide a community friendly roadway that Redwood City residents can be proud of.
Alameda County Public Works Agency hired our team for the Ashland community’s roadway design improvement project, extending from 162nd Avenue Southeast to Interstate 238. Our extensive experience with complete street projects made us the ideal choice for the job. Despite many design challenges and existing sidewalk utilities, we were able to complete the corridor improvements with street trees, art work elements, seat pods, accessible transit stops, accessible curb ramps, lighting, storm water treatment areas, while adding protected and buffered bike lanes and mid-block crossings for safe intersection crossings in conformance with Ashland and Cherryland Business District Specific Plan requirements.
One of the most significant challenges we encountered during the project was coordinating with Alameda County Transit to improve bus stops while creating protected bicycle lanes behind them. We also had to move water mains and work with the sewer district to locate street light poles. We also collaborated with the Arts Commission to incorporate decorative art panels into the medians. Preserving existing parking along this major commercial corridor was another design challenge we had to meet while creating a protected and buffered bike lane.
The street was previously an old Caltrans route, and the County took ownership of this street after Caltrans relinquished the rights. The county and design team presented at the community meetings during the early design stages of this project, which featured multimodal transportation improvements, Class IV bike lanes, high-visibility crosswalks and lighting, shaded trees, and traffic signal improvements. Public art was also included to enhance the street’s beauty.
Accessibility along the shoulder was also a major concern, and we had to work with existing utilities to accommodate the community’s desire for a protected bike lane and provide infrastructure improvements. We also installed stormwater planters to capture water runoff from paved areas for stormwater treatment before discharging into the creek.
Our team worked closely with a landscape architect to locate and build seat pods that the community actively uses. Our experience with complete street projects and downtown beautification helped us achieve our goals and make the area more appealing.
In conclusion, the project was a great success, and we were proud to be a part of this unique Alameda County Public Works Agency project. Our experience in this project has given us valuable knowledge that we can apply to similar projects in the future.