CA Route 1 Due for Upgrades
By Assemblymember Phil Ting
I hear it all the time from my neighbors and constituents on the west side: Our major arterial road, California Route 1, is in desperate need of resurfacing. In December 2017, I provided an update about the problem and how your California state government planned to close an estimated $130 billion need for maintenance and repairs on our state’s roads through Senate Bill 1 (SB-1), which raised our gas tax for the first time since 1994. This new funding source was needed because the cost to fix our roads far surpassed available gas tax revenue as vehicles became more fuel-efficient.
Thankfully, the state’s voters affirmed SB-1 in the November 2018 election and we have already seen myriad projects – from repaving roads to purchasing new BART train cars – across the region move forward with SB-1 funds. One of the biggest projects in my district is the repaving of Route 1, otherwise known in San Francisco as Junipero Serra Boulevard, 19th Avenue, Crossover Drive, Park Presidio Bypass, Park Presidio Boulevard and Veterans Boulevard.
Currently, it’s a teeth-rattling ride down many stretches of Route 1. I should know; I live near 19th Avenue and drive on it every day. But the conditions are changing. Caltrans has already initiated improvement projects. This July and August, they replaced the concrete median on Park Presidio Bypass between Crossover Drive and Fulton Street. The old 36-inch-tall barrier had been damaged by vehicles; the newly-installed 56-inch barrier reduces the chance of vehicles flipping over in the event of a collision and it blocks more glare from oncoming headlights.
As this column goes to print, Caltrans is about to start repaving two sections of Route 1. The first section to be paved will be a one-mile stretch running from the San Mateo County line to Holloway Avenue. The second section stretches for approximately two miles from Lincoln Way north to where Veterans Boulevard joins the Presidio Parkway, feeding into the Golden Gate Bridge.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has spent months performing preparation work on the aging infrastructure under the road surface, replacing rusty drainage pipes and upgrading conduits for television and internet cables. The repaving work will be done from the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., when traffic is light. On Veterans Boulevard, the concrete surface will be broken up and replaced.
Finally, the SF Department of Public Works (DPW) is doing major work to replace sewer and drainage pipes, traffic signals and other infrastructure along the three-mile stretch of 19th Avenue between Holloway Avenue and Lincoln Way. However, the combined preparation work that must be first completed by DPW and Caltrans means repaving of the road surface won’t begin until 2022.
I understand the frustration with the condition of Route 1. It isn’t just an annoyance but also a cost to our pocketbooks. On average, California’s drivers spend $762 a year on repairs for damage caused by road conditions. However, your city and state agencies are hard at work delivering new roads of which we can be proud and will save drivers time and money in the end.
Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the west side of San Francisco.