County of Marin - News Releases - Federal Roads Grants

For Immediate Release
January 22, 2018

Federal Grants to Improve 3 Marin County Roads

Projects underway to rehabilitate deteriorated roadways over next several years

San Rafael, CA – Fueled by federal grants, the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) is collaborating with federal agencies on three roadway rehabilitation projects across the county that have a combined cost estimate of $38 million.

A close-up view of the weathered pavement on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in West Marin.Pierce Point Road in West Marin is due for repaving.

Grant funding through the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) will pay for 88.53 percent of the total estimate, with the remaining 11.47 percent coming from local funds. The three projects, each at various stages of progress, will improve a total of 23.72 miles of roadway.

The FLAP requires an extensive application process and is highly competitive. For California, less than 25 percent of project applications are approved each year by the California Program Decisions Committee. The grant program requires projects to meet a range of parameters under the mandate to improve transportation facilities that provide access to, are adjacent to, or are located within federal lands. Funds are then administered through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which also handles most of the design and construction work. The FHWA has worked closely with DPW and the National Parks Service for the three Marin County projects.

A $17.7 million FLAP grant was earmarked by FHWA for Marin County to improve 12 miles of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard between Pierce Point Road near Inverness and Chimney Rock Road near the Point Reyes Headlands. The County’s Road and Bridge Rehabilitation fund will cover 11.47 percent of the estimated $19.9 million project, approximately $2.2 million. After funding was identified in 2013, the project has been undergoing an extensive environmental study and design phase, which is expected to be completed in spring 2018.

Over 1300 vehicles drive the deteriorated road daily. The roadway has been heavily patched over the past couple decades but now shows significant cracking and road edge damage that requires extensive rehabilitation. The planned improvements will restore structural integrity of the road, add shoulder support and enhance safety while reducing ongoing maintenance requirements. Sections of the road that have been subject to seasonal flooding will be raised and realigned to alleviate the issue and minimize wetland impacts in the area.

The Sir Francis Drake Boulevard project is the farthest along of the three FLAP-funded projects. Permits and mitigation plans are anticipated to be finalized during summer 2018. Construction is projected to start in spring 2019 with a target completion date of fall 2020.

The second FLAP-funded project will address a 2.4-mile section of Muir Woods Road between Muir Woods National Monument and Muir Beach. Over 2300 cars pass through this stretch of road daily. The project is estimated to cost $5.9 million, of which $5.2 million will come from the FLAP grant. The County’s Road and Bridge Rehabilitation fund will cover the remaining $680,000.

The much-needed rehabilitation of Muir Woods Road would implement enhanced safety measures, correct drainage problems, repair roadway and hillside erosion, and reduce water quality impacts to the nearby Redwood Creek. A public meeting will be held during summer 2018 to present a project update prior to the final design submission in fall 2018. Construction is expected to begin sometime in spring 2020 and is anticipated to take one to two years to complete, depending on permitting conditions.

The third FLAP grant is still pending final approval but would provide $10.8 million toward the rehabilitation of the heavily deteriorated Pierce Point Road from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to Point Reyes National Seashore. Pierce Point Road is the only access to the northern portion of Point Reyes National Seashore, a route traveled by more than 600 vehicles daily. The proposed project carries an estimated cost of $12.2 million and is still in the preliminary stages while it awaits the FLAP committee’s decision. If approved, the project will improve both safety and function of the 9.32 miles of roadway, including pavement quality, drainage upgrades, roadway widening and updated signage and striping. Final programming decisions are not expected until approximately mid-2018. 

Contact:

Eric Miller
Interim Principal Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6354
Email: Eric Miller
Public Works website