Construction on the California Drive Roundabout is now entering its second stage, four months after construction began. The project, which received final approval in March, is scheduled to be completely finished in January 2019.
The second stage of construction includes the removal of existing roadway along California Drive and the installation of a new roadway, new landscaping and new utilities. During phase two, California Drive will remain open to traffic but the speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph. Currently, southbound traffic has been diverted along a new roadway through the roundabout while northbound travel remains on the old portion of the road. There is no vehicle access to cars traveling on Lorton or Bellevue Avenue.
Although the project is intended to reduce traffic congestion, there has been concern about drivers adapting to the new roundabout. The County of San Mateo released an emergency alert on Sept. 6, warning drivers to be aware of the new route. The alert system is primarily used to warn residents of emergency situations, including natural disasters and crime, highlighting the concern that the county has over the opening of the roundabout.
The project was granted to Redwick Construction at a cost of $2,968,082 in March 2018. While this was the lowest bid presented to the City Council, many citizens have questioned whether the benefits of the project justify the cost.
“The interaction wasn’t perfect and a small improvement in traffic is not worth $3 million,” senior Olya Egrov said. “I am also worried about bike safety. The current plan looks like it will not have a bike lane.”
“The final roundabout will allow bikes to share the lane or exit the roadway and proceed along the outside of the roundabout,” said Burlingame Transportation Engineer Michael Tsai. “Dedicated bike lanes within the roundabout are actually strongly recommended against per Federal guidelines.”
The city is aware that the roundabout may require an adjustment by drivers.
“Roundabouts are still relatively new in the U.S. especially in the Bay Area. It is expected that people have questions on how they are to drive it.”
The latest information regarding the roundabout and current traffic conditions can be found on the Burlingame city website.