Why is the road still bumpy?
The bumpy and uneven surface is due to the fact that the street was not repaved, instead, it was given a surface treatment called a “scrub seal/microsurfacing.” This is a surface treatment applied to streets to improve the pavement surface and extend the life of the pavement at a relatively low cost. While never before used in Mill Valley, engineers in Novato have used “scrub seal/microsurfacing” successfully on several major arterial roads, such as Rowland and South Novato Boulevards. Scrub seal/microsurfacing treatments are more robust than slurry seals and can be applied to streets with more surface cracking – a good fit for East Blithedale Avenue. The result is a pavement surface that is sealed from water intrusion, which causes further deterioration of the pavement, and an improved surface. This surface treatment has a lifecycle consistent with the five-year timeframe required prior to major rehabilitation. Repaving is more extensive and expensive and will, according to the City engineers, will take place on East Blithedale in around 5 years. How does East Blithedale fit into the Street Rehabilitation Plan?
The East Blithedale Street Maintenance and Sewer Rehabilitation Project was the first phase of the City's three-part Street Rehabilitation Plan, which includes interim and full-road rehabilitation projects for East Blithedale and Miller Avenues. The Street Rehabilitation Program was developed in 2008 to guide the rehabilitation of City streets in a responsible and cost-effective manner. Three critical projects of the plan include:
1. East Blithedale Street Maintenance and Sewer Rehabilitation Project (Summer 2013)
2. Miller Avenue Streetscape Project (2014 – 2017)
3. East Blithedale Full Road Rehabilitation Project (2015 – 2018) Pavement Management Plan
Planning for the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project, the second project on the list, is currently underway with construction slated to begin in the spring of 2014. Modifications to the existing street will include new paving and grading, drainage improvements, safety enhancements to bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, transit stops, parking and travel lanes, and enhancements to the street’s functionality as a shopping district and gathering spot for residents of adjacent neighborhoods and the surrounding areas.
After the completion of the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project, the City will undertake the final phase: the East Blithedale Full Road Rehabilitation Project, which will include comprehensive pavement reconstruction, drainage improvements, and pedestrian accessibility enhancements which meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Planners will also incorporate "Complete Streets" and sustainability principles in the design and execution of the project and secure the necessary funding. Close coordination with the residents who live along the East Blithedale corridor will also be a key component to ensuring a successful large-scale project. Where can I learn more?
Please read more about the East Blithedale project.