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Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Project

Clarke Avenue – Hwy 101 Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossing Project
CIP-ST-06-2017; ATPL-5438(017); EA 04-4H3101

Updated May 9, 2019

Purpose and Need
The project supports the City of East Palo Alto General Plan (2016) policy to provide and maintain a circulation system that supports bicycle and pedestrian travel. The pedestrian/bicycle overcrossing would provide connectivity from the residential Woodland community southwest of Highway 101 to the rest of East Palo Alto on the northeastern side of U.S. Highway 101. The project will provide access to shopping and community centers, schools, and the regional trail system.

Project Location
The proposed project is located in East Palo Alto, adjacent to Clark Avenue on the north side of U.S. 101 and Newell Road to the south. The project would cross U.S. Highway 101, approximately 2,100 feet south of the University Avenue overcrossing of U.S. Highway 101, and approximately 4,500 feet north of the Oregon Expressway/Embarcadero Road overcrossing. U.S. Highway 101 in this location is a ten-lane, 160-ft wide highway (recently widened from eight lanes).

Project Description
The project consists of three components: 1) design and construction of a bicycle and pedestrian overcrossing (POC) over U.S. Highway 101 and West and East Bayshore Roads; 2) sidewalk and bikeway signage; and 3) striping improvements along West Bayshore Road and a new West Bayshore Road crossing. The bicycle/pedestrian overcrossing would link neighborhoods, schools, and commercial development on both sides of U.S. Highway 101 in the vicinity of University Avenue. The project will construct a Class I Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Structure over U.S. Highway 101 to provide a direct connection between the south side and north side of U.S. Highway 101 in East Palo Alto. In addition to the overcrossing, sidewalk and bicycle signage and striping improvements along West Bayshore Road and a new pedestrian crossing of Newell Avenue will be added. The frontage road on the southwest side, West Bayshore, is two lanes, while the frontage road on the northeast side, East Bayshore, is four lanes with a median to the north of the Project site, transitioning to two lanes south of the Project site.

The southern ramp of the alignment will begin on the northern side of West Bayshore Road and will align with the existing sound wall before crossing the highway. The northern ramp of the alignment will have a reverse “S” curve that will border a City-owned parcel and terminate on Clarke Avenue (adjacent to the entrance of Home Depot). The project proposal includes a connection to and crossing of West Bayshore at Newell Road. This crossing would feature a new traffic signal with bike/pedestrian crossing lights and a high-visibility crosswalk. On the northeast side, the overcrossing ramp would bridge East Bayshore Road and connect to Clarke Avenue at an existing sidewalk near a Home Depot delivery entrance. The project includes relocation of the existing pylon sign that is approximately 65 feet tall, from the north side of the East Bayshore Road/Clarke Avenue intersection to the north side of the main driveway entrance to Home Depot, approximately 550 feet to the northwest.  Relocating the existing pylon from the Clarke Avenue intersection with East Bayshore Road to the main Home Depot Driveway will minimize visual impact from Hwy 101 by situating the sign within the confines of the shopping center. A new high- visibility crosswalk is included at the driveway, and a new high-visibility crosswalk with median refuge island is included at the crossing of Clarke Avenue. Clarke Avenue from East Bayshore to Tinsley Street would be signed and marked as a Class III bike route, with bikes sharing the lanes with motor vehicles. New bike lanes would be added from Tinsley Street east to O’Connor Street to complement the existing sidewalks.

Project History/Schedule

  • Selection of project location and alignment – 2012
  • ATP Funding awarded in August 2014
  • CEQA completed in March 2016
  • NEPA completed in August 2016
  • ROW Certification in November 2017
  • Council Approval and RTL February 2017
  • Contract Awarded in July 2017
  • Construction Commence December 2017 to estimated completion June 2019
  • Installation of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan items
  • Surveying work for bridge foundation work
  • Utility marking of underground utilities
  • Foundation work for relocation of the Shopping Center sign at the corner of Clarke Ave and East Bayshore Road
  • Ground Breaking Ceremony on 11/30/2017
  • Expected project completion: Spring 2019  

 Final Construction Activities scheduled for May 10 through 24, 2019

  • The Pedestrian Bridge is scheduled to open on Saturday May 18, the following work is scheduled to be done before the opening.
  • The contractor will be working on traffic signals to activate the new signals at West Bayshore and Newell Road. 
  • The contractor will be striping the streets and crosswalks, on Clarke Ave on East side, West Bayshore & Newell Road on West side and painting the center-line on the Bridge Structure.
  • The contractor will be also be working to install signs, fencing, hand railing and bollards at the approach to the bridge on both sides.
  • All Construction signs throughout the project will be removed in the week of 5/22.

Construction hours are typically between 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM,

For additional information regarding this project, feel free to contact the following:

Saeed Shahmirzai Resident Engineer (650) 450-3507

Additional Information
  • EPA Hwy 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Feasibility Study
  • EPA Hwy 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Presentation to Planning Commission
  • EPA 101 Overcrossing Notice of Intent (amended)
  • EPA 101 Overcrossing Initial Study (amended)
  • EPA 101 Overcrossing IS Appendices (amended)