Budget Blog Series: City of Redwood City Fiscal Year 2018–19 Capital Improvement Program Highlights

Capital infrastructure investments plan for the future and support transportation, parks, and water and sewer priorities, and more.

The City’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018–19 budget began on July 1. In our first blog post in this series, the City focused on the Operating budget which funds core services like public safety, parks and recreation and library services. For more on the City’s operating budget, go here.

The City Council also adopted a Capital Improvement Program which invests in capital infrastructure using dedicated revenues that cannot be used for core City services. The City’s adopted Capital Improvement Program funds transportation, parks, water and sewer priorities and much more.

This blog post shares highlights from the City’s FY 2018–19 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). To view the entire CIP, go here.

Capital Improvement Program Basics

The FY 2018–19 CIP budget invests $35.2 million to support 62 projects in ten functional areas.

Funding for capital projects derives from many sources, with the Utility Users’ Tax (UUT) being the primary revenue source. The City Council’s policy is to use UUT revenue to fund City capital needs including maintenance of City facilities and infrastructure. Most other CIP funding sources are restricted to certain purposes and, in some cases, must be spent within a prescribed period. Dedicated revenue sources include Park Impact and Park In-Lieu Fee funds, Water Capital Projects and Sewer Capital Project funds, Transportation Grants, Traffic Mitigation Fees Fund and Gas Tax revenues.

Other funding includes state funds to support capital infrastructure. California State Senate Bill SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act that passed last year, increased gas taxes to pay for local road maintenance as well as regional transportation infrastructure and public transit. The City will receive $1.4 million for local road maintenance projects this year. This important new revenue source is in jeopardy, however, due to efforts to repeal the tax (read more about SB 1 funding further down in this blog post).

CIP projects are grouped into ten functional areas. The figure below provides a breakdown of the total one-year project funding by functional area, with the majority of funding focused on transportation, parks, sewer and water infrastructure priorities.

The chart below provides descriptions of each functional area.

The following chart provides a summary of the adopted FY 2018–19 Capital Improvement Program funding.

Major FY 2018–19 Project Highlights


City-YMCA Veterans Memorial Senior Center

An additional $5 million will support the City and the YMCA joint project to build a new Veterans Memorial Senior Center and a new aquatic and fitness center at Red Morton Park. Staff is currently in the master planning/schematic phase of the project. In the first half of 2018, the City held six public workshops and numerous stakeholder meetings that led to City Council approving the Schematic Design of the Project on May 21, 2018. On June 25, City Council approved an agreement with ELS Architecture and Urban Design for the design and construction drawings for the Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center, site improvements, parking, and traffic calming solution.

Join the City and the design team to share your thoughts about traffic calming measures at upcoming workshops.

Goals for the August Workshop: August 16, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

- Confirm intersection concepts for Vera/Valota and Hudson/Madison.

- Select intersection concepts for other intersections along Madison, between and including Valota and Myrtle.

Goals for the September Workshop: September 27, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

- Final designs presented for all intersections and gathering any final comment.

- If time and resources permit, we may mock-up an intersection or two to test the “concept design” in place.

For more about this project, go here.

Magical Bridge Playground

The Magical Bridge Playground is a world-renowned concept developed first in Palo Alto that will soon debut in Redwood City. Designed to be socially inclusive for children and adults of varying physical and cognitive abilities, Magical Bridge Redwood City aims to go beyond typical playground designs, which often inadvertently overlook the growing autistic population, cognitively challenged, visually and hearing impaired, physically limited and the aging population. The Magical Bridge Foundation is collaborating with Redwood City on its second location due to its progressive parks and recreation program, financial generosity, and diverse community.

The City Council approved a partnership with the Magical Bridge Foundation to build an innovative and inclusive playground to open at Red Morton Park in 2019. Total funding of approximately $4.9 million is now available for construction.

There are two phases to the project. Phase 1 was to underground overhead utilities, move a PG&E transformer, and add new parking spaces next to the playground (at the National Guard Armory). The first phase of the project is complete! Recently, the City released an RFP for the construction of Magical Bridge Playground, considered phase 2. Because of concurrent projects out to bid and highly competitive environment, the City received only one bid. The sole bidder waived all profit, management, and overhead, the cost of subcontractors and materials were well over the engineer’s original project estimate. As a result, the City Council rejected the bid. With continued assistance from the Magical Bridge Foundation, the City will re-bid the project and expects to announce a contractor in September. The City and the Magical Bridge Foundation teams will continue to collaborate to ensure this “magical” playground opens soon!

The City does not anticipate too much of a delay to the overall construction timeline and will share more updates as they become available.

For more about this project, go here.

New Park Projects

Approximately $2 million from the Parks Impact Fee, which is generated by fees paid for by development projects, will support the Jardin de Ninos Park expansion and the Downtown Parks Assessment and Feasibility Study.

Downtown Parks Site Assessment and Feasibility Study

In early 2017, the City Council held a Study Session regarding the implementation of the Downtown Precise Plan (DTPP). Through this discussion, the City Council placed a high priority on creating a network of great public open spaces. SERA Design and Architecture, Inc. was selected to evaluate the feasibility for improvements to City-owned land and its adjacent right-of-way and to provide recommendations for park development and the potential for creating green linear systems and urban recreation corridors that connect the City’s existing and future public open spaces. The study is the first step in creating parkland to serve downtown. The study has three phases: site assessment and ranking of sites for downtown parks; preliminary site planning and identification of site improvements and amenities; and recommendations for park development. Following a series of community engagement opportunities including an online survey, community meetings and a pop-up park in the Downtown in June, City staff will return to the City Council in September with park location options for their consideration.

For more about the Downtown Parks Assessment and Feasibility study, go here.

Jardin de Ninos Park Expansion

Construction drawings for the Jardin de Ninos Park Expansion are nearly complete. Once the Middlefield Road beautification project is complete, work on the park can begin. The expansion is a result of the City purchasing land adjacent to the existing park.

For a list of all of the City’s parks, go here.

Synthetic Turf Projects

Synthetic turf fields have a useful life of about seven to ten years. Through the CIP, the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department has been systematically replacing synthetic turf play fields according to the lifecycle analysis. Recently staff replaced turf at Marlin and Sandpiper fields in Redwood Shores and staff plans to replace Hoover Park turf in FY 2018–19 at a cost of $1.3 million.

For details about the Marlin or Sandpiper fields projects in Redwood Shores, go here.


Collection System Replacement

Approximately $3.8 million will support the annual replacement and rehabilitation of the sewer collection system.

Sewer Pump Station Rehabilitation Program

A budget of $1.6 million will support regular improvements to the City’s 31 sewer lift stations. Lift stations 13 and 16 are currently under construction; and stations 18 and 20 are under design.

Sequoia Station Groundwater Mitigation

Staff have been working with the Regional Water Resources Control Board to remediate groundwater beneath the Sequoia Station Shopping Center. Staff conducted a pilot study in FY 2017–18, and the funding will support the continued monitoring and eventual full-scale remediation of the site in future years. The one- year budget is $500,000.

For a list of sewer projects, go here.

Storm water

Bayfront Canal Cordilleras Cleanup

A budget of $100,000 will support channel maintenance at Bayfront Canal and Cordilleras Creek in FY 2018–19. Channel maintenance maintains the flow capacity of the two drainage channels and allows for efficient storm water transport.

In addition, planning is underway for the Bayfront Canal and Atherton Channel Flood Management project. The Bayfront Canal and Atherton Channel, together, collect stormwater from a watershed that includes the City of Redwood City, City of Menlo Park, Town of Atherton, Town of Woodside and unincorporated San Mateo County before discharging the stormwater flows to the San Francisco Bay at Flood Slough.This Project is the first step towards providing capacity within the watershed to reduce the risk of flooding. The Project will divert stormwater from the Bayfront Canal to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge during high tide events, to reduce flooding upstream on the Bayfront Canal and Atherton Channel.

The Project design and planning phase is funded jointly by the County of San Mateo, City of Redwood City, City of Menlo Park, and Town of Atherton.


Finance and Human Resources Software

Additional funding of $1 million in FY 2018–19 was allocated to modernize the City’s finance and HR software to enhance organizational efficiency. The total project cost is $3.5 million. Staff has released a request for proposals and will select and begin implementation of the new software next Fiscal Year.


Middlefield Road Utility Undergrounding and Streetscape

An additional $2 million will support the Middlefield Road utility undergrounding and streetscape project in order to proceed to construction. The project will increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility by relocating overhead utility lines and poles underground from Main Street to Douglas Avenue. The project will reconfigure the roadway to provide wider sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes, street trees, pedestrian lighting, benches, and green infrastructure.

101/84 Highway Interchange

Additional funding of $420,000 will support this long-term project aimed to reconstruct the existing US 101-Woodside Road interchange to ease congestion, increase safety, and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists. Staff is seeking funding through multiple state and regional transportation programs. The City expects to contribute over $20 million toward the project, with $9 million contributed through land dedication. Staff estimates the total project costs at $131 million and is seeking funding from state and regional agencies.

Roadway Pavement Management Program

The $1.4 million in new state funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB1) will support one slurry seal project (potentially on Marine Parkway, Alameda de las Pulgas, or Vera Avenue) with asphalt overlay planned for segments of Chestnut Street, Middlefield Road, Spring Street and Warwick Street. Annual funding to this program has allowed the City to maintain a very good Pavement Condition Index (PCI) Rating of 78 as compared to the regional PCI rating of 66.

Impacts of the Potential Repeal of State Senate Bill SB1

California State Senate Bill SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act that passed last year, increased gas taxes to pay for local road maintenance as well as regional transportation infrastructure and public transit. The City will receive $1.4 million for local road maintenance projects this year. This important new revenue source is in jeopardy, however, due to efforts to repeal the tax.

If repealed, Redwood City’s Roadway Pavement Overlay projects impacted would include:

  • Chestnut Street, El Camino Real to Railroad
  • Middlefield Road, Jefferson Avenue to Main Street
  • Spring Street, Woodside Road to Douglas Street
  • Warwick Street, Edgewood Road to City Limits

For other transportation projects under construction or in the planning stages, go here.


California Tank and Pump Station

An additional $1 million will support the construction of the new California Tank to service the Emerald Lake Hills service area. The design is 90% complete and staff anticipates construction to begin in 2018.

Planning For Future Capital Investment

In addition to the adoption of a FY 2018–19 Capital Improvement Program, the City Council also adopted a Five-Year Capital Improvement Program, which looks at the City’s infrastructure needs over a five year period, used for planning purposes. The recommended FY 2018–19 CIP budget is aligned with anticipated revenue and staffing. The recommended Five-Year CIP includes 107 projects with an estimated cost of $405 million.

Transportation projects require the most funding by far, estimated at $235.8 million over all five years. Transportation projects are usually long-term infrastructure projects that involve multiple interest groups and funding sources such as the 101/84 Interchange project and Whipple Avenue Grade Separation project.

Whenever possible, staff applies for grants and state funds to distribute the cost of CIP projects across multiple funding sources.

For the Adopted Five-Year Capital Improvement Program, go here.

Other Budget Blog Posts or Resources

For the previous blogs about the City’s budget:

Fiscal Update

FY 2018–19 Operating Budget

For the Fiscal Update Webpage, go here.

For Frequently Asked Questions about the City’s fiscal challenges, go here.

For a list of upcoming 2018 November ballot measures, go here.

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