The Public Works Officers’ Institute gathered in Sacramento for its annual meeting where winning entrees of the first-ever 2014 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards were decided. In total six entrants, three cities and three counties, out of roughly 50 applications were selected as award winners along with several finalists. The City of Paso Robles was honored as one of the competing finalists for their 21st Street Complete and Green Street Project.
The awards program, sponsored by the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties, and County Engineers Association of California, is delivered in combination with the 2014 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment. Its purpose is to recognize “projects that serve as best practices and can be replicated by other jurisdictions, [and] is also an acknowledgement of the cities and counties that promote sustainability in the local transportation system, including the efficient delivery of infrastructure and environmental stewardship” – League of California Cities.
The efforts surrounding the City of Paso Robles 21st Street Complete and Green Street Project enabled the City to improve the quality of stormwater reaching the Salinas River, reduce street flooding, and recharge the groundwater table by reducing impervious surfaces, replacing aging utilities, relocating overhead utilities underground, improving safety and mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists, and promoting infill redevelopment. It was an innovative project as well as cost effective, and could easily be replicated to promote sustainable drainage, groundwater recharge, preserve pavement quality, and reduce the need for future maintenance.