Your MST at Work: Road Pavement Project Set to Begin

Posted on: 7/25/2016

The City is underway with the first phase of our annual road pavement project to improve roads on more than 35 streets all over town. This year’s project will target more than $4 million toward improvement of our local roads and sewer facilities.

A significant phase of pavement rehabilitation is scheduled to occur on weekdays between August 1 – 10, from 8 am – 5 pm. Work crews will use “slurry seal,” a mixture of water, asphalt emulsion, crushed rock, and additives to cover the existing asphalt pavement surface of certain Mill Valley roads. 

We are often asked, “Why does a street with a fairly intact surface get slurry sealed instead of a street in a more deteriorated condition?” Slurry seal is meant to extend the life of pavement and needs to be applied before a street begins to fail with cracks, potholes and similar broken surfaces. Slurry seal is a cost effective way to extend the service life of a good street. Streets that are in a more deteriorated condition are treated with a more expensive asphalt overlay or are reconstructed.

Please be advised that during the project, the City will need to close selected roads and restrict parking in certain areas. Roads receiving pavement treatment will be closed to all vehicle traffic as well as to pedestrians and cyclists.The City recognizes that, in addition to this pavement project, there are other ongoing projects, most notably on Miller Avenue and Camino Alto. To minimize impacts to traffic from our infrastructure repair projects, the City has scheduled much of the road work to take place in the summer, when school is not in session. Still, we recognize that this creates an inconvenience and we thank you for your understanding and patience as we improve Mill Valley’s roadways.

A construction manager will be available to help with traffic control and address questions or concerns from residents during the time the slurry seal is being applied. If you have specific questions related to the work being done on your street, contact information is provided below.

It is vital for everyone’s safety, and for the durability of the slurry seal,that you DO NOT drive, walk (including your pets) or bicycle on the wet slurry.Please stay off the street until it has been opened to traffic. Be aware that during the application process, the street is closed and there will be crews working in the street—any unexpected traffic is very dangerous and puts their safety at risk.

In the weeks following the application of the slurry seal work crews will return to install new striping and markings. This final portion of the project will require a lower level of traffic control, allowing most streets to remain open to traffic.

Maintaining and improving our community's infrastructure is one of the Mill Valley City Council’s adopted Key Issues. The City Council has committed to continue to assign funds and energy to improve and sustain the total roadway network. The annual Street and Sewer Rehabilitation Projects are part of our continuing effort to preserve health, safety, and the community's high quality of life.

The Street and Sewer Rehabilitation Project is an annual program to rehabilitate critical infrastructure and prioritize streets for repair based upon pavement condition, cost-effectiveness, and public feedback. It involves a wide range of work, including repaving, spot repairs and slurry seal, as well as sewer and storm drain repair, and upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Click here to learn more.

Since 2014, the City Council has assigned additional funds ($200,000 per year in the past, but doubled to $400,000 for FY 2016/17 and FY 2017/18) from the General Fund to street improvements. As a result, the streets are gradually improving, from a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of 58 (At Risk) in 2014 to a PCI of 64 (Fair) in 2016.

The City relies on a number of funding sources for road improvement programs,including the Municipal Service Tax (MST), which supplies approximately 40% of the annual funding needed to maintain and repair City roads. During the 2016/17 Fiscal Year, the City will spend approximately $4,000,000 repairing streets and sewers in the City with funding from the MST, Sewer Rehabilitation Program CIP, Gas Tax and the Road Impact Fees. The City Council has placed a high priority on increasing the annual funding for road repairs, to achieve a higher, desirable Citywide standard of roadway conditions.

The MST was first approved by voters in 1987 for 10 years at $145 per parcel,and was last renewed in 2006 at a rate of $195 per parcel. The MST generates$1.2 million in revenue annually, with $300,000 funding the Fire Department’s fire prevention-focused Vegetation Management Program, and $900,000 going toward street maintenance and road repair. Mill Valley currently spends around $2.2 million per year for road repairs. The MST, which expires in 2018, is a critical funding source for both fire prevention and road infrastructure repair.

Please click here for more information about the MST.

Please stay informed by checking the City website and signing up for electronic notifications, updates and alerts.

If you have questions or comments, please contact the City’s Construction Manager, Jeffrey Palin at or 925-765-9134.