St. Helena set to begin annual road repairs

Drivers and cyclists, rejoice! St. Helena’s annual road repairs are set to start in the coming weeks.

Surveying began Monday. Grinding could start as early as Nov. 18, followed by repaving.

The work will be split between two phases. Overlays will start in the next few weeks. Microsurfacing — a less intensive process of laying new pavement on the old road bed — will occur next spring because it has to be done in warmer weather.

The following streets will undergo edge grind (the edges of the street, not the whole width) with 2-inch asphalt overlay:

• Voorhees Circle east of Mitchell

• Valley View Street from Birch to Grayson

• Stockton Street from Adams to Tainter

• Railroad Avenue from Adams to Hunt

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• Stralla Court west of Pope

• Pope Street from Starr to Peppertree

The following streets will undergo a 2-inch full grind/overlay:

• College Avenue east of Pope Street

• The intersection of Oak Avenue and Adams Street, including new curb ramps and pavement reconstruction

The following streets will undergo microsurfacing next spring:

• Chiles Avenue north of Signorelli

• Tainter Street from Allyn to Oak

• Library Lane west of Adams Street

• June Lane from Hunt to Chiles

• Valley View from Spring to Olive

Streets are selected for paving based on a five-year plan. Staff will reprioritize that plan in the next few months based on the passage of Measure H, which will finance some water and wastewater projects that will require trenching. Officials want to do that trenching in conjunction with repaving so they don’t have to pave a road twice.

One of St. Helena’s worst streets is Oak Avenue. The intersection with Adams Street is getting a full grind/overlay this year, but the rest of Oak isn’t scheduled to be paved until 2026-27 — at least under the current plan.

However, staff is considering options for Oak, Comelo said.

“This is an important artery, especially for our youth,” Comelo said. “It’s certainly a priority for us, but we want to think about it methodically and work with our partners like the school district and the Napa Valley Transportation Authority to ensure we have the money to do the repairs and only have to do it once.”

St. Helena’s roads consistently rank among the worst in the Bay Area. Officials have said the current budget allocation is enough — barely — for the city to maintain the roads at the level they are now without slipping any lower on the Pavement Condition Index. More money would be necessary to bring the overall condition of the roads to a higher level.

Argonaut Constructors is performing this year’s round of road improvements under a $1.2 million contract.

Mixing recycled rubber into pavement could give us bouncier, safer roads.

You can reach Jesse Duarte at (707) 967-6803 or [email protected].

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