Although it feels like the world has slowed to a crawl with the Covid19 virus, I assure you that we, at the city, haven’t slowed down. Beyond trying to navigate through turbulent health restrictions and help breathe life into our businesses, our Development Services team continues to drive the city forward. The city’s construction projects haven’t skipped a beat.
Although the community’s health crisis is rough, to say the least, the new pavement in J and G Sections is not. The pavement maintenance and rehabilitation project that started in 2019 was completed in April of this year. The project was funded by SB-1 funds and helps our folks navigate through those sections much smoother.
Another project that you might have seen is the reconstruction of State Farm Drive north of Rohnert Park Expressway completed in October. This street really needed work and we were happy to give it new life using a grant we obtained for over $1 million.
In April of this year, the Highway 101 Bike and Pedestrian Crossing project kicked off. The project is a study to identify potential crossings of Highway 101. The US 101 freeway is a major barrier to east-west travel in Rohnert Park, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians and creates gaps in the city's active transportation network. Current crossings that do allow travel between the east and west sides present significant safety concerns due to freeway on and off ramps. The study and data collection phase are planned to conclude in April of 2021. After the results are compiled and reviewed, recommendations will be presented to council.
If you travel our city sidewalks and creek paths, you’ve probably noticed that over the last few years we replaced those surfaces in various locations. The Sidewalk and Creek Path Replacement project commenced in 2017 and was completed in February of 2020. The city’s native soils and encroaching tree roots take a real toll on the asphalt concrete surface material that was previously the standard. The replacement surface material, that holds up better than the former material, is referred to as Portland cement concrete. In addition to improved surface material, the installation of root barriers and removal of decaying trees, will help preserve the upgraded sidewalks and creek paths. Gas tax funds were the fuel to keep the project thriving.
A project that is not visible to passersby, but very important, is referred to as the Interceptor Outfall project. The purpose of the project is to preserve the sewer pipe between Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa’s regional wastewater treatment plant. The project location is along the Laguna de Santa Rosa (west of Stony Point Road) to the wastewater treatment plant. Funded by sewer rates, this project will install a liner in the existing 45-year-old pipe. Updates were also made to the city’s older pump station to improve its performance.
In an effort to become more resilient towards power outages, infrastructure upgrades were made to several traffic signals along Rohnert Park Expressway and Golf Course Drive. We replaced several traffic signal batteries that can now power them for up to 12 hours during a power outage. Vehicle detection systems were also replaced in response to complaints received throughout the year.
In May, Sunrise Park Improvements were completed which included several new pathways, lacrosse striping for the field and new irrigation and plantings to complement the upgraded park. The city’s first pickleball courts, opened in September, have proven to be very popular.
The city was also busy replacing some aging water and sewer pipelines. The city’s first gravity water tank was constructed on a hill east of the city. This tank provides better fire protection, improved pressures, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves energy.
Another project scheduled to wrap up in winter of 2020 includes the Golf Course Dr. West Bioretention Rehabilitation Project. The project is funded by an agreement between the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and the city. The purpose of this project is to rehabilitate a roadside water feature designed to capture pollutants in road runoff and prevent them from entering our creeks.
I hope that you take an opportunity to cruise around town and see what we’ve been up to. We have many more projects that are in the works but scheduled to conclude in 2021. I look forward to sharing those important projects in an upcoming column.