Invest. Improve. Innovate.
Five years ago, the City Council approved an Infrastructure Plan that initially included nine projects including a new public safety building, two parking garages, two fire stations and a bike and pedestrian plan, among other projects. Since then, the mix of projects has shifted slightly with the Council pressing the “pause” button on the downtown parking garage and a necessary redesign of future bike boulevards.
The cost of the plan has also significantly gone up with escalating construction costs and changes to the scope of projects. In addition, salaries and benefits of staff working on projects are now budgeted within individual capital projects to more accurately account for the total cost of each project. The current planned cost of the Infrastructure Plan is now $255 million.
In June 2014, Palo Alto City Council adopted the Infrastructure Plan that prioritized unfunded projects and identified potential sources of revenue. Included in the plan are nine key projects with the majority of funding coming from an increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel tax) from 12 to 14 percent that was approved by more than 76 percent of Palo Alto voters in November 2014. Additional funding sources for these infrastructure projects come from the City’s Capital Fund, the Stanford Hospital development agreement, parking in-lieu fees, parks development impact fees, and state grants.
The City is in the process of designing and building the nine infrastructure projects identified by Council. A couple are complete, a few are near completion, and more are on their way. Read up on each project to learn more about the status and background of the project.
Over the past year or so, there has been a lot of progress on the Infrastructure Plan including:
Construction began on the replacement of Fire Station No. 3 in January 2018, and the new station is scheduled to be complete this fall.
Construction of the 636 space California Avenue parking garage is underway. Council has approved the design for the new Public Safety Building, and construction will begin when the California Avenue parking garage is finished in late 2020.
The Charleston/Arastradero Corridor project will see three milestones this fall with scheduled completion of phases 1 and 2 and bid opening for phase 3.
The Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bike Bridge construction begins in January 2020 and is anticipated to be completed in summer 2021.
Council has pushed “pause” on the downtown parking garage for now and staff plans to bring forward a potential parking guidance system as part of the 2020 budget process as a near term solution.
In late 2018, the Council approved the design of the new Public Safety Building that will start construction following the completion of the California Avenue parking structure.