Charleston / Arastradero Corridor Project

  • Project typeTraffic and Transportation
  • Project value$19,554,473
  • Completion DateJuly 31, 2022
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Project Description

The 2.3 mile Charleston-Arastradero Corridor is a heavily used, residential-arterial road that serves as an east-west connector for the southern section of Palo Alto. The corridor connects eleven K-12 schools, several parks, shopping centers, community centers, senior living facilities, and a library. The project includes installing landscaped medians, curb extensions/bulb-outs, enhanced bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and traffic signal modifications consistent with the existing striping/roadway configuration.

Scope of Work

  • Enhanced safety for K-12 students walking and biking to school and other corridor users.
  • Smoother traffic flow along the corridor.
  • Streetscape beautification: the project will add approximately 80 trees, shrubs, groundcover, grasses, and bioretention plants throughout the 37,000 square feet of landscaped elements.

Scope of Work (expanded)

The overall objective of the project is to address the needs of nearby residents and the surrounding community who have requested an improved corridor with more moderate vehicle speeds, safer conditions, and various vegetation improvements will be used to enhance the aesthetic quality of the corridor and treat stormwater.

Landscaped medians will improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists from users making abrupt lane changes and dangerous turns. Pavement markings will help a driver’s awareness of pedestrians and bicyclists. To further protect bicyclists, the corridor will have a dedicated or buffered bike lane. More details on the streetscape improvements included in the project can be in the project FAQs(PDF, 2MB).

Another key component of the Charleston-Arastradero Corridor Project is the upgrade of traffic signal equipment for increased controllability of signals. An adaptive traffic control system will also be implemented as a part of this project. It will optimize signal timings which will improve traffic flows. In addition to traffic signal modifications, a new traffic signal will be installed at Louis/Montrose and E. Charleston Road.

The Charleston-Arastradero project has been in the works for almost 15 years with significant stakeholder outreach and community engagement. The City Council approved the concepts for the corridor in 2015, and the Architectural Review Board approved the landscape plans in 2017. Federal grants fund part of the project, which requires a phased construction approach. Phase 1 includes the corridor section Arastradero Road between Foothill Expressway to Clemo Avenue. Phase 2 includes corridor section of West Charleston Road from Alma Street to Middlefield Road. Phase 3 of construction will be the remaining sections of the corridor between Los Palos Avenue to Alma Street and Middlefield Road to San Antonio Road. 

Project Status 

Happening Now

The contractor is laying out median islands in paint on E. Charleston Road from Middlefield Road to San Antonio Road. Work is estimated to take a few days to complete. The contractor will then sawcut, excavate, and construct the median islands in concrete, which are expected to be complete by mid-June.

Temporary striping of the final striping layout is taking place on E. Charleston Road form Middlefield Road to San Antonio Road. Work is estimated to take a few days to complete. Final striping of E. Charleston will take place the following week on May 31.

Upcoming Work

Milling and Paving of the Corridor

The contractor is scheduled to start milling W. Charleston Road on June 2 and paving on June 4. Extended construction hours are approved for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The paving phases are detailed below:

  • June 4 - W. Charleston Road from El Camino Real to Alma Street

The El Camino Real intersection and section of Arastradero Road between Los Palos Avenue and El Camino Real will be paved at a later date. The City will communicate construction hours and dates as these get finalized, pending approvals from other agencies. Traffic detour plans will be posted when available.

Up to a week prior to Saturday paving, the contractor will mill the street section to be paved and lay down plastic markers following the existing striping. Please be aware of uneven pavement when driving on the corridor during these times.

Striping on W. Charleston Road

Following paving, the contractor will install temporary striping of the final striping layout on W. Charleston Road from El Camino Real to Alma Street. Final striping of W. Charleston will take place the following week on June 13.

Median Islands on W. Charleston Road

Median islands on W. Charleston will be laid out in paint following paving starting on June 6. Layout will take a few days to complete with sawcutting and excavation work taking place afterwards. This work is estimated to take a week to complete. After this, the contractor will begin construction the median islands which is estimated to take a week to complete.

Foundations for Flashing Pedestrian Beacons

The contractor is scheduled to pour foundations for the new flashing beacons at Clemo Avenue on June 20. The foundation pour is estimated to take a few days to complete, and traffic detours will be set up.

Project Timeline 

  • Phase 1

    06/2018 - 11/2020

    Roadway improvements have been constructed on Arastradero Road from Foothill Expressway to Clemo Avenue.  Improvements included are curb extensions, sidewalk expansions, enhanced bicycle lanes, a protected cycle track, traffic signal improvements, landscaped median islands, new lane configurations, and new street trees. Phase 1 was completed in November 2020.

  • Phase 2

    06/2018 - 11/2020

    Roadway improvements have been constructed on E. Charleston Road from Alma Street to Middlefield Road. Improvements included are curb extensions, sidewalk expansions, enhanced bicycle lanes, traffic signal improvements, landscaped median islands, new lane configurations, and new street trees. Phase 2 was completed in November 2020.

  • Phase 3

    Roadway improvements are planned in the remaining segments of the Charleston-Arastradero Corridor on Arastradero Road from Los Palos Avenue to El Camino Real, W. Charleston Road from El Camino Real to Alma Street, and E. Charleston Road from Middlefield Road to San Antonio Road. Similar improvements from Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be implemented in Phase 3 such as curb extensions, enhanced bicycle lanes, landscaped median islands, traffic signal improvements, new lane configurations, and new street trees.

Upcoming Meetings

There are no scheduled meetings at this time.

Past Community Meetings

September 9, 2021 – Phase 3 Informational Meeting
The public was invited to learn more about the project and what to expect to see during construction. Staff and the consultant team were available to answer questions. The presentation slides from this meeting are here.(PDF, 42MB)

 

June 22, 2021 – Council Meeting
City Council reviewed staff’s recommendation to approve the construction contract with O’Grady Paving for Phase 3 of the Charleston-Arastradero Corridor Project.

November 20, 2019 – Walkthrough at Los Altos – Hetch-Hetchy Bike Path
Approximately 40 community members attended the meeting and site walkthrough on Wednesday, November 20 to review the scope of the upcoming tree work. City staff explained the tree removals and maintenance work, described the City’s efforts to minimize the impacts to the trees, and answered questions from attendees. The work is described in the meeting’s handout.(PDF, 2MB)  

October 9, 2019 - Walkthrough at Los Altos – Hetch-Hetchy Bike Path
The City held a walk-through meeting at the SFPUC Los Altos-Hetch Hetchy bike path to discuss tree pruning along the path and why it is required.

May 21, 2018 – Council Meeting
City Council reviewed staff's recommendation(PDF, 3MB) to approve construction contracts with O'Grady Paving for Phase 1 and 2 of the Charleston / Arastradero Road Corridor Project. 

March 27, 2018 – Open House at Gunn High School
The public was invited to learn more about the project and staff were available to answer questions. 

March 29, 2018 – Open House at Hoover Elementary
The public was invited to learn more about the project and staff were available to answer questions 

 

Project Documents 

 

 

Location

 PaloAltoCity Charleston Map