County Repaving

Whitney and Marshall avenues, seen here, will be part of the paving project that Napa County will undertake next year in the Imola Avenue area using Measure T funds.

Measure T is coming to the rescue of the pavement-flunking, car-clunking streets of the Imola Avenue unincorporated small neighborhood virtually surrounded by the southeast city of Napa.

Napa County plans to repave the small area next year after a Napa Sanitation District sewer rehabilitation project. Streets such as Parrish Road, Mayfair Drive and London Way could be smooth by the end of 2019.

If all goes as planned, this will be among the county’s first Measure T projects in the unincorporated area outside of the cities. The local half-cent sales tax for street maintenance began on July 1.

As far as resident Carl Ingram is concerned, it’s about time his neighborhood streets saw improvement.

“Those streets haven’t been paved since I’ve been here and that’s probably 30 years ago,” Ingram said.

Napa County supervisors on July 31 approved spending $263,000 on design and construction management work for the project. They could take other necessary steps in late August or early September for the project to proceed.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has a map that shows Bay Area street pavement conditions. The Imola Avenue neighborhood small streets are depicted in red, which means “poor/failed.”

Transportation officials rate pavement on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being best. County Engineering Supervisor Graham Wadsworth said some stretches of the Imola pocket neighborhood are in the 30s, 20s and teens. A 25 score is considered failing.

To be sure, this area isn’t unique in the county road world. The MTC map shows red all over the unincorporated county. Roads such as Mount Veeder Road are in bad shape, with some sections there only one lane because of damage from the 2017 floods.

The Napa Sanitation district sewer rehabilitation project is making the Imola-area pocket work a priority. Some of these roads are supposed to be repaved in 2020-21 under the five-year road maintenance plan approved by the Board of Supervisors last December. But the county sees advantages to doing sewer and road work in the same year.

“We wanted to coordinate so the neighbors aren’t disrupted for two seasons,” Wadsworth said.

What does a failing grade look like in the street world? Pavement in the Imola Avenue pocket neighborhood has “alligator” cracking, patch jobs and the occasional pothole. The ride in a small car is on the rough side.

Mayfield Drive has dips down the center where the utilities are buried, Ingram said.

“My street has to be dug up and redone completely,” he said.

Upcoming studies by a county-hired consultant will reveal exactly what repair work must be done on which streets.

“If the roads are too far deteriorated, we just have to start over almost,” Wadsworth said.

The repair project could cost about $2 million and includes curb access ramps to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, a county report said. Measure T funds aren’t yet available for the design work, so the county’s plan is to use other road funds and then backfill with Measure T revenues.

Adjacent Imola Avenue has cracked pavement in some sections, but isn’t targeted for repaving just yet. The unincorporated sections alternate with sections in the city of Napa, so Imola Avenue repaving will be a team project.

“We’ll work with (the city) on what’s the best timing for Imola,” Wadsworth said.

Napa County expects to have about $17.5 million annually for roads because of Measure T and the recent state fuel tax hike, along with existing funding. That compares to $7 million in previous years that proved to be too little to keep up with road deterioration.

Portions of Silverado Trail, Soda Canyon Road, Milton Road, Redwood Road, Mount Veeder Road, the Zinfandel Lane subdivision and Airport Boulevard are only a sampling of locations proposed to receive pavement-reviving treatments over the coming five years.

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He was worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield. He is a graduate of UC Sa