After a decade of planning, the city at long last began construction of the Fifth Street redesign project this week.
Known more famously in town as the Fifth Street road diet, the project aims to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety along the busy thoroughfare, principally by trimming the road from two vehicle lanes running in each direction to one between B and L streets, while adding bike lanes to both sides of the road as well.
The project, which actually stretches from A to L streets, will add a center dual left-turn lane and turn pockets; improve and add ramps compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act at intersection corners; stripe new crosswalks; and incorporate streetlights and pedestrian-activated signals at the C and J intersections.
It also will upgrade traffic signals at A, B and L and will include new eight-phase signals at the F and G intersections to match up with the new lane configurations.
An emergency traffic signal will be added at E Street for fire station access.
“This is the largest of the city of Davis’ upcoming roadwork projects,” said a city news release describing the work. Road construction has been the theme of the summer in Davis, with more than a half-dozen major projects taking place throughout the city.
On Monday, crews from Vanguard Construction of Livermore began cutting curbs to complete ADA ramp installation and soon will place conduits and foundations for street lighting along Fifth Street. They will move east toward L Street as work drives on.
City officials expect the first phase of the project to be completed by Thanksgiving. Striping and the replacement and addition of traffic signals, however, will take place in January when the new two-vehicle lane configuration will be in place.
As far as traffic impacts over the next two months, the city expects some lane and sidewalk closures, but no full road closures.
Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
The city will pay for part of the $1.9 million project through a Sacramento Area Council of Governments grant, worth $836,000. About $800,000 will come from Davis’ transportation and transportation roads funds, $200,000 from a Highway Safety Improvement Program grant and $50,000 from Community Development Block Grant funds.
— Reach Tom Sakash at email@example.com or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash