First Street update

First Street in Gilroy between Monterey Road and Santa Teresa Boulevard is turning into a pot-holed disaster that needs immediate repaving. While I recognize that because it is Hwy. 152, this section of road is under the control of Caltrans, probably meaning nothing will happen for the next five years. Too bad that our beloved City Council appears to be powerless to exercise any influence on Caltrans to fix this section of road before it deteriorates further and makes driving it more unsafe. I’m wondering when First Street is going to be fixed.

A history teacher once said, “The wheels of progress grind exceedingly slow.” Red Phone has no good news, good caller, for the foreseeable future.

Last March, Red Phone responded to a frustrated citizen of Gilroy who asked the same question. At that time, the city reported that a design for a new water main installation on First Street was almost complete and that the construction would start in July, taking about a year to complete. Re-pavement of First Street would not make sense until this project was completed.

Jumping to the present, the installation of the water main has not begun. According to Gilroy traffic engineer Henry Servin, the bidding process may take 90 days to complete, at which time the selected contractor would provide a schedule for the city’s approval.

So, who will fix First Street? Servin said, “Since the pavement damage is extensive, we have decided to approach Caltrans for assistance with temporary repairs.”

Red Phone then contacted Caltrans Public Information Officer, Bernie Walik, who said, “Caltrans will provide maintenance support on potholes and road damage repair on State Right of Way on a continual basis. The utility companies are responsible for repairing area that they are working on. In this case, whatever they are digging out to repair/replace services, they are responsible for filling in and smoothing those dig outs.”

Asked about repaving First Street, Walik said, “There are currently no plans in the near future to repave First Street; however, there is request for a project in this area, but that won’t come to fruition for at least four to five years. In the meantime, our maintenance group will be filling potholes on Hwy 152 in this areas later in February.”

So, good caller, progress can be exceedingly slow!