Upgrades coming to north ECR

Repaving, restriping set to begin this week

ATASCADERO — Atascadero motorists will soon see some major improvements to two of the city’s “worst roads” after the Atascadero City Council voted unanimously June 23 to approve a contract with Ferravanti Grading and Paving of Paso Robles to repave portions of north El Camino Real and a section of Del Rio Road.

City Engineer Nick DeBar said that the portion of El Camino Real being repaved — the section from the K-Mart plaza to the old location of Kai Lana restaurant — generates more complaints than any other road in the City.

“It’s a terrible part — our worst part of El Camino,” he said. “It’s confusing lane configurations — there’s places where it’s two lanes, then one, then back to two. There’s parking in different areas. It’s a little confusing.”

The Council awarded Ferravanti the construction contract for the project in the amount of $1.59 million and construction should begin soon, De Bar said. The project could take up to three months to complete but the construction period could also be significantly shorter due to the use of a process called “cold in place recycling.” The process involves using the materials from the asphalt surface that is already in place, recycling it using an “asphalt recycling agent” and using it to repave the roadway.

“I don’t expect it to take that long, especially with the cold in place recycling,” DeBar said. “That process knocks down a lot of the working days. It’s also a very green technology and involves no trucking in of materials.”

The project will involve repaving the portion of El Camino Real and also restriping the roadway to include one lane in each direction, a center turn lane and bicycle lanes on either side. The project will also include the installation of a 250-foot stretch of sidewalk along El Camino that is currently missing and updating sidewalks in the construction area to comply with ADA requirements.

“Any time we do major construction like this we’re actually mandated by the state to look at the other pedestrian components and do those updates with ramps,” DeBar said.

Access to the businesses on El Camino Real will be maintained during the construction period.

The second part of the project will include repaving a portion of East San Anselmo Road from El Camino Real to Del Rio Road, another stretch of road that generates a huge number of complaints, according to DeBar. The project will also address the road’s issues with poor drainage.

DeBar reported to the Council that the project costs were higher than expected at $2.12 million and suggested that a budget shortfall of just under $100,000 be covered with an appropriation from the City’s Local Area Transportation Fund. The City is planning to use its first allocation from the State’s new gas tax to fund a part of the project, but if the tax is repealed this November, there would be an additional shortfall of around $355,000, DeBar said.

City staff recommended delaying the planned repaving of several other streets in the City this winter in order to cover the potential shortfall.

The Council voted to approve staff’s recommendations unanimously with Council member Charles Bourbeau absent. 

“The public is really going to notice this,” DeBar said. “When it’s done, they’re not going to believe we haven’t done it before. This is a very important piece of road to get fixed. I think it’s the worst road in Atascadero that I drive on regularly.”


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