With the completion of the Theatre Drive Realignment Project, the City of Paso Robles is receiving significant recognition and awards for their continued improvement of public roads and thoroughfares. Most recently, both the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as well as the American Public Works Associations has recognized the City for their outstanding efforts. The City received awards for the Outstanding Private Sector Civil Engineering Project of the Year from the ASCE San Luis Obispo Chapter and the Public Works Project of the Year in Transportation from the APWA Central Coast Branch.
Over the course of the last twenty years, the City of Paso Robles has seen rising growth in population and tourism. Attributable to the booming wine industry, and a business-friendly culture, residents and visitors are offered an array of regional activities: shopping, wine tasting at close to 200 wineries, fine dining, cycling, golfing, open artiststs’ studios, and olive tasting, to name a few. This steady increase in population and tourism have been a boon for the local economy, however, such growth placed a considerable strain on the existing transportation on infrastructure.
As a main arterial pathway to accessing many of the City’s attractions, the US 101/SR 46 West Interchange became a cumbersome and confusing series of on and off -ramps with awkward turning lanes. Fortunately, regional and State transportation officials, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) and Caltrans, had the foresight in 1997 that the US 101/SR 46 West interchange would be a likely candidate for improvements. The two agencies and the City formed an agreement at that time to share in the responsibility to find a solution. This agreement set in motion the initial planning for the interchange improvement project and what would become the Phase 1 – Theatre Drive Realignment.
Significant benefits have been realized by the City after completion of this phase of the project. Some of the added improvements include the following:
- Reduced traffic congestion at US 101/SR 46 West intersection for safer streets and an increased level of service to local, regional, and interregional transportation with completed realignment of Theatre Drive and new signal intersection on SR 46 West.
- Improved stormwater drainage capacity along SR 46 West, and historic drainage patterns maintained in the watershed containing Theatre Drive improvements.
- Textured and landscaped center-island narrowings, along with the addition of painted bike lanes provided traffic calming along the corridor.
- Expanded and improved Theatre Drive bike route and pedestrian pathway for safer and easier alternative transportation options which reinforce the Vine Street precedent as a model design and aesthetic for the City.
- Added value with enhanced aesthetic that visually links downtown with the southern end of the City and reinforces the idea that both areas are part of a larger unified place, creating a more livable community.
- Established and maintained good working relations with local community necessary for successful completion of the remaining four phases of the US 101/SR 46 West Interchange Modification Project. Prepared the way for Phase 2 to begin (Vine Street Realignment).
As Construction Manager for this project, Cannon was pleased to submit this project to the ASCE and APWA on behalf of the City. In addition to Cannon, URS was the design engineer, Earth System was the geotechnical engineer, and R. Burke was the contractor.