The Morgan Hill City Council has approved a $14.2 million construction contract for the first and most significant phase of the long-awaited Hale Avenue extension project, which will create a continuous north-to-south traffic route around the west side of the city’s downtown.
Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021. The Hale Avenue Extension project has been included in Morgan Hill’s General Plan since 1969.
The construction contract for the first phase, approved Nov. 18 by a unanimous vote of the city council, was awarded to DeSilva Gates Construction. The company submitted the lowest bid of five contractors that submitted cost proposals, according to city staff.
DeSilva Gates’ bid was about 5 percent higher than the city engineer’s estimate of $13.5 million for the project, the city staff report noted.
When completed, the Hale Avenue Extension will take motorists, pedestrians and cyclists from West Main Avenue to Spring Avenue on a continuous route.
The project will be built in two phases. The first phase, awarded Nov. 18 to DeSilva Gates, consists of 4,000 linear feet of new Hale Avenue roadway. This includes a roundabout at the West Dunne/Hale intersection, bicycle lanes, median, separated pedestrian pathway, sound walls, retaining walls, street lights, striping, fiber optic conduits, undergrounding of overhead utility crossings, water lines, fire hydrants, stormwater bioswales, storm drain systems, irrigation, landscaping and traffic control.
Phase two of the west-side bypass project will construct the new Hale Avenue segment from Warren Avenue to about 300 feet north of the intersection of West Main and Hale Avenue. This section aligns with a segment Valley Water’s Upper Llagas Creek Flood Protection project—also under construction—and will be constructed by the water district, according to city staff.
The Hale Avenue Extension project has long been anticipated as a way to help reduce cut-through commuter traffic in local neighborhoods. “It will also have the benefit of reducing energy consumption by providing an efficient and continuous roadway network within the City of Morgan Hill,” says a city staff report.
The city has commissioned three traffic studies since 2010 of the Hale Avenue Extension proposal’s expected impact on local vehicle circulation. “All of the studies identify reduction in traffic on residential streets and a shifting of traffic to the (new) arterial Hale Avenue roadway,” says the city staff report.
The city staff report lists additional goals that city officials anticipate from the Hale Avenue Extension:
– Create a two-lane multi-modal arterial street in line with the “Complete Streets” approach to roadway planning;
– Provide an alternate north-to-south road option on the west side of US 101 to relieve congestion on Monterey Road;
– Provide a Class 1 Bike and Pedestrian facility separating bicyclists from the roadway.