Capital Improvement Program Project Updates

A new blog series to share City capital project updates

The City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) helps us to build a great community together by focusing on various projects that touch many of the City’s strategic initiatives. Projects include transportation, parks, water and sewer priorities and much more.

This new blog series shares updates on some of the City’s major CIP projects currently underway. Check back for more updates on a regular basis. Have a question about a project you are interested in? Let us know!


Magical Bridge

The Magical Bridge Playground is a world-renowned concept developed first in Palo Alto and will soon debut in Redwood City. The City Council approved a partnership with the Magical Bridge Foundation to build an innovative and inclusive playground to open at Red Morton Park.

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 programs, resident and business community’s financial generosity, and its diverse population.

Recently, City Council awarded the construction contract for the Magical Bridge Playground to Robert A. Bothman Construction. Phase one of this project was completed in May to allow an expanded play area by moving a PG&E transfer and overhead power lines and provide an additional 60 parking spaces Phase two, or the current phase, will construct the playground, picnic area, an accessible drop off area, safe pedestrian access to the park as well as improve lighting and drainage in the project area. Staff anticipates construction to begin in November and expects construction of new park to be complete in late summer 2019.

For more about this project, go here.

Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center

The Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center-YMCA project is designed to meet Redwood City’s growing needs and enhance the community’s fitness, wellness and recreational resource by creating a brand new Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center and a separate but adjacent YMCA facility that will house aquatics and fitness programs. By fostering this public-private partnership, the City and the YMCA will leverage their unique strengths to better meet the long-term recreational, health and social needs of the Redwood City community and promote the City’s strategic initiative of attaining ‘A Community for All Ages.’

Phase I (which includes the Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center, promenade and a new Veterans Memorial Building parking lot), is in Design Development. In the first half of 2018, the City has held a total of 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. On September 10, staff presented a traffic calming report to City Council. Council directed staff to design pilot traffic calming improvements for priority intersections identified through community workshops.

As part of the City’s ongoing community engagement effort to address neighbor concerns related to traffic on Madison at selected intersections between Valota and Iris, the City will be hosting a Traffic Calming Demonstration on Wednesday, September 26 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. City staff, including police and fire personnel, will assess the community’s preferred traffic calming tools. The demonstration will test the turn radius and speed limits for fire trucks, police cars, and large equipment. It will also assess line-of-sight issues and how well bicyclists can maneuver around the proposed road modifications. Parks facilities will remain open during the demonstration.

In addition, the project is currently going through review with various committees (Architectural Advisory Committee; Historical Resources Advisory Committee; PRCS Commission, Senior Affairs Commission; and Planning).

Staff will present to City Council in December 2018 with an update, cost estimates, financing plans, and a recommendation to move to the construction drawing phase of the project. Groundbreaking could begin for Phase I (Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center) in the fall of 2019 after CEQA certification, construction drawings are in place, and financing is secured. The YMCA, who will be responsible for paying for the construction of their facility, is considered Phase II of the Project and would begin once Phase I is constructed.

Remember to join us for the fifth traffic calming workshop on September 27, 6–8 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Senior Center. Goals for this workshop include presenting final designs for all intersections and gathering additional input.

The City is requesting comments and guidance on the scope and content of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Comments and responses to this notice must be in writing and submitted by the close of business on September 25. Please provide a contact name, phone number, and email address with your comments. All written comments should be directed to the project planner: Anna McGill, Senior Planner at For more information go here.

Stay tuned for more input opportunities!

For more about this project, go here.

Downtown Parks Assessment and Feasibility Study

The City is in the process of assessing the feasibility of developing a downtown park for the community. SERA Design and Architecture, Inc. was selected to evaluate the site assessment and 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.

As directed by City Council, staff is currently completing preliminary site planning considering opportunities and constraints and identifying site improvements and amenities on two City-owned parcels, the Main Street Parking Lot/City Hall Lot and Library Parking Lot A. An additional site to be considered was Bradford Street/Redwood Creek. Following extensive outreach to the community and local downtown businesses, including hosting a pop-up park event where the public could visualize amenities and options on these two sites, the City Council will consider staff recommendations at their September 24 meeting.

Staff is recommending that the City Council proceed to a detailed design phase of the three selected sites to consider creating a large, linear park and open space over time. If the three sites were to develop in accordance with the diagrams in the report, concurrently with the development of the 101 undercrossing and a version of the proposed bicycle network in the City-wide Transportation Plan, the City would capture an opportunity to create a new urban recreation corridor that would greatly contribute to the existing and future network of great public open spaces.

Staff is requesting that the City Council provide direction on the City-owned site or sites that should proceed to the Design Phase for a Downtown Park. The Design Phase would require the assembly and release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for professional design services for the design of an urban park(s) and recreation corridors, including a comprehensive and inclusive public engagement strategy.

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


Middlefield Utility Undergrounding Project

The Middlefield Utility Undergrounding Project, a much-awaited infrastructure project focused on road improvements on Middlefield Road from Main to Douglas, will begin this October.

The project goals include increasing pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility by relocating overhead utility lines and poles underground and reconfiguring the roadway to provide wider sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes, street trees, pedestrian lighting, benches, and green infrastructure. Once completed, the project seeks to create an attractive gateway to downtown Redwood City.

The City conducted extensive community outreach and gained community feedback that will be used as this project develops. On July 23, the project was awarded to Seton Pacific Construction and City staff is finalizing the construction schedule.

Learn more about this project here.

Citywide Transportation Plan

City Council approved the Citywide Transportation Plan on July 23. The Citywide Transportation Plan is a guiding document that seeks to implement a Vision Zero approach to reduce congestion, limit cut-through traffic, and to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries. The Citywide Transportation Plan helps identify projects to help accomplish these goals.

In addition to goals and strategies, the plan also includes the outline of a Transportation Demand Management program (TDM). This program incentivizes the use of transit, carpooling, teleworking, walking and biking for people living in or working at new development within the City.

The most immediate next steps for the Citywide Transportation Plan include incorporating the plan’s recommendations into the General Plan (these amendments will be brought to City Council with future General Plan updates); developing a TDM ordinance (this ordinance will be brought to City Council in 2019); and exploring local, regional, and state funding to advance Tier 1 projects including Theatre Way Pedestrian Improvements, Fair Oaks Community School Safe Routes to School, an ADA Transition Plan, Alameda de las Pulgas Buffered Bicycle Lanes, and more.

To learn more about the Citywide Transportation Plan, go here.

Highway 101 Undercrossing: Connecting Bair Island to Main St. Downtown

The U.S. Highway 101 Pedestrian Undercrossing will connect the bike path along Bair Island Road and the bike lanes on Main Street via a new undercrossing beneath the freeway and adjacent to Redwood Creek. The 14-foot wide path would maintain nine to ten feet of headroom and would involve landscaping improvements, site lighting, two retaining walls, and a scenic overlook. Creating a physical connection between the Bayfront areas and downtown is an important goal for the City and the community.

The 101 Undercrossing project began utility relocation earlier this year and is still pursuing permits from the remaining permitting agencies for heavy construction of the undercrossing. Construction will begin early 2019 after utility relocation is complete.

Learn more about this project here.

Grade Crossing Improvements

This project will improve railroad track crossings at Whipple Avenue, Broadway, and Main Street. Many improvements will be completed by the City and others by Caltrain. The City safety improvements include vehicle, bike and pedestrian improvements. Caltrain upgrades are around railroad protective equipment. This project focuses on increasing safety and mobility.

City improvements at Main Street include streetlight improvements, roadway, and traffic warning sign upgrades, extending the sidewalks to the tracks, and adding bulb-outs. Items planned for Broadway include traffic signal modifications and Caltrain is replacing pedestrian gates and other railroad protective equipment items. Whipple Avenue improvements planned include new sidewalks, new curbs, streetlight improvements, and new traffic signs. Caltrain items include new pedestrian gates and railroad protective devises for vehicles and bikes.

New sidewalks, bulb-outs, curb ramps, and storm drain line/inlet are complete at Whipple and Main. Graniterock Company is the contractor for these improvements and plans to continue installing street lighting at Whipple and at Main this month. A schedule for Broadway has not yet been determined but the City’s goal is to complete improvements by the end of the year.

Please visit the project web page here to learn more about this project.

Other Resources

For information on other infrastructure projects go here.

For information on other Capital Parks and Community Center projects go here.

For bids and proposals go here.

For the previous blogs about the City’s budget and CIP:

Fiscal Update

FY 2018–19 Operating Budget Highlights

FY 2018–19 Capital Improvement Program Highlights

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