Road construction Los Altos Drive American Canyon

A block of Los Altos Drive will be closed to thru traffic for the next several weeks as crews replace sewer lines beneath the roadway. Theresa Avenue will also be closed at times starting next month. 

Noel Brinkerhoff, Eagle

Two roads on the westside of American Canyon used by commuters and parents taking kids to school will be closed to thru traffic at times over the next two months while the city works on replacing sewer lines under the roadways.

The work began Monday on Los Altos Drive, limiting access to the street except for those living on the 124–155 block. The road will be closed to thru traffic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Argonaut Constructors, hired by the city to replace aging sewer lines, expects the first phase of the project on Los Altos to take about a month.

Then, in March, Argonaut will begin working on the sewer lines beneath Theresa Avenue, which connects with Los Altos.

Both roads are used regularly by commuters trying to avoid Highway 29 and parents whose children attend Napa Junction Elementary School.

Trevor Stewart, project manager for Argonaut, said they expect to finish the work by April 9. The total cost to the city will be $1.08 million.

In the meantime motorists can expect delays, and may have to find other routes to their destinations.

“We’re trying not to be an inconvenience, but it happens” with this kind of work, said Stewart at a public meeting held at City Hall Monday night to discuss the project.

Some residents expressed concern over how the construction will impact parents dropping off and picking up their children from Napa Junction.

“That’s the main route to my kid’s school,” said Pastor David Hartfield-Dyels. “You’re talking about a serious backup” when Theresa is closed to thru traffic.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” he said.

Napa Junction is accessible by car on only two roads: Theresa and Napa Junction Road. But taking the latter also requires parents to use the highway, which can be clogged with commuters in the mornings and afternoons.

Compounding parents’ struggles during the roadwork is the fact that Napa Junction Elementary is gated, and children have only a 10-minute window to enter the school in the morning before the gate is locked.

Hartfield-Dyels asked if City Hall, which is located only a block from the school, would give up its parking to parents during the construction to make things easier.

Interim Public Works Director Steve Hartwig said he couldn’t authorize it.

“We can’t do that,” said Hartwig.

“Let’s get some compromise,” Hartfield-Dyels responded. “If we’re going to be affected, everybody needs to be affected.”

Once Argonaut replaces the sewer lines and the lateral pipes connecting to nearby homes, it will repave Los Altos and Theresa.

Stewart said that portion of the work would coincide with Spring Break when schools are closed March 26-30.

The sewer project marks the third construction effort taking place in the same part of town.

Just off Theresa Avenue is Valley View Senior Homes, a 70-unit development undergoing construction since last summer.

Napa Junction Road also has been busy with work crews adding a right-hand turning lane for motorists leaving the Napa Junction III commercial and residential development and heading north on Highway 29.