Charleston / Arastradero Corridor Project

  • Project typeTraffic and Transportation
  • Project value$19,554,473
  • Completion DateAugust 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 installing irrigation for the median islands, starting with E. Charleston Road and followed by W. Charleston Road. Work is estimated to take a few weeks to complete for each section. After that, the contractor will install topsoil and landscaping on the median islands. Work is expected to continue through the month of July.

Upcoming Work

Potholing and Signal Foundation Work at El Camino Real   

The contractor will start work potholing for traffic signal foundations and utilities at the El Camino Intersection starting on June 27, which is estimated to take a week to complete. After potholing is finished, the contractor will set up permanent traffic control for the duration of construction, pour concrete foundations, and install signal crossings. All of this work is expected to be complete by mid-July. Traffic control and detour plans are listed below. 

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