Storm Drainage System Replacement & Rehabilitation Project

  • Project typeSystem Rehabilitation
  • Project value$1,376,016

Project Description 

Over the past several years while cleaning the system, Public Works Operations Maintenance group identified and compiled an ongoing list of storm drain pipes and structures that are in critical condition and are in need of repair or replacement. The pipes are either cracked, rusted, or rotted. This project proposes to maintain the integrity of the storm drain system through replacement or rehabilitation of deteriorated storm drain infrastructure. Thus, eliminating potential pipeline blockages that could cause street flooding.  

Project Status

Upcoming Work

The City of Palo Alto will be improving the storm drain system along on Middlefield Road, at the intersection of Middlefield Road and Bryson Avenue. Construction will begin on Monday, July 11, 2022, and is expected to be completed in approximately 3 weeks. Partial lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected during the construction hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bicycles and pedestrians will be directed to use temporary pedestrian paths set up by the contractor. Entry and exit out of the plaza will remain open. Parking may be limited in the immediate construction area on Bryson Avenue. 

Storm Drain Pipe Replacement Work

The contractor is removing old pipe and installing new storm drain pipe and catch basins at Hamilton Avenue, Guinda, Street, East Bayshore Road, Seale Avenue, Louis Road, Indian Drive, Arrowhead Way, Cardinal Way, Moreno Avenue, Elmdale Place, Towle Place, Towle Way, Bruce Drive, Nathan way, Campana Drive, Encina Grande Drive, Lytton Avenue, and Waverley Street. Work may include removal and replacement of catch basins, accessible curb ramps, curb and gutter, sidewalk, pavement and striping as a result of construction activities. As of end of April, the underground pipe replacement portion of the project is approximately 90% completed.

CIPP Lining Work 

Streets that will be CIPP lined include the following: Palo Alto Avenue at Fulton Avenue, Guinda Street at Palo Alto Avenue, Saint Francis Terrace, Saint Francis Drive and Sierra Court, Bryson Avenue, Matadero Avenue at Laguna Avenue, Lytton Avenue from Webster Street to Palo Alto Avenue, Campesino Avenue, and Oregon Avenue at High Street. As of end of April, the preliminary assessment, preparation, and pipe cleaning prior to lining is completed. Based on the assessment results the contractor will confirm which pipes can be lined and determine the length of material to order for each location. Once the supplies are order it may take up to 6 weeks for it to arrive, and once material arrives the contractor will schedule the install. This project is still on track and scheduled be completed by September.

Scope of Work

  • 1,415 linear feet of broken storm drain pipe to be replaced
  • 416 linear feet of 10-inch pipe to be upsized to 12-inch pipe
  • 2,443 linear feet of pipe to be cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lined
  • 21 catch basins to be replaced
  • 4 storm drain structures to be replaced


The pipes to be rehabbed are in 16 different locations throughout the City.

Storm Drain pipes replacement location Map 

Project Documents

Staff Report ID. 12366 - September 27, 2021(PDF, 269KB)


  1. Why do pipes need to be rehabilitated?
    Corrugated metal pipes (CMP) have rusted out to the point where there are holes in the pipes. These segments cannot be repaired and need to be fully replaced.  Other pipe segments have cracks due to concrete deterioration over time, tree root intrusion, or construction activities. Pipes segments that are shallow, limited cover, may cave-in from the weight of the heavy construction vehicles constantly driving over them. The project reduces flood risks by making sure that the storm system is properly maintained and functioning.

  2. How are the pipes rehabilitated?
    The condition of the pipe will determine if the pipe will be replaced or cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lined. Lining provides structural support in the pipes, extends the product life, prevents root intrusions while avoiding the need to trench in the street. If there are no holes or significant cracking, the storm drain pipe can be CIPP lined. Pipes with significant cracking or pipes beyond repair will be replaced. As a result of the pipe replacements, additional work such as replacing storm drain inlets, manholes, striping, sidewalk, curb and gutter, and curb ramps may be required.

  3. Why are some pipes being upsized? 
    There are existing pipes that are 10-inches that will need to be upsized to 12-inch pipe. Part of this project includes upsizing pipes to meet minimum design standards as set by the approved 2015 Storm Drain Master Plan. The design standards require pipes to be a minimum of 12-inch diameter pipe in the public right-of-way. Pipes less than 12-inches have less capacity, are difficult to maintain and can clog.

  4. How is this project funded?
    The Storm Drainage System Replacement and Rehabilitation project is funded by the Storm Water Management Fee ballot measure, approved by Palo Alto voters in April 2017. This project proposes to maintain the integrity of the storm drain system through replacement or rehabilitation of deteriorated storm drain pipes, manholes, and inlets.

  5. Is there Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) included with this project?
    No, there is no GSI on this project. This project comes from funds specifically dedicated to maintaining and repairing the storm drain system. Only pipes that need repair are included in this project. Most of these pipe locations are located in the middle of the street, and do not have a planter adjacent to the catch basin that could be altered and converted to act as a GSI feature.

  6. Has this project been coordinated with other departments?
    This project includes coordination with the Utilities Department, Public Works Engineering Streets Group and Public Works Operations Maintenance Group.