The project, by far the biggest road renovation the City has undertaken in decades – spanning approximately two miles of Miller Avenue from Almonte Boulevard near Tamalpais High all the way to Sunnyside Avenue near downtown – is expected to last until late 2017.
The event featured all five members of the Mill Valley City Council, as well as City Manager Jim McCann, past City officials as well as a number of City staff members and residents who had served on Miller-related committees and panels over the years.
“As you see the construction trucks rolling into town, along with chippers and backhoes, join us in picturing a future Miller Avenue that we can all be really proud of,” Mayor John McCauley said in his letter to the community about the project. “A Miller Avenue with safer bike lanes for our children to ride to school, safer crosswalks, as well as wider sidewalks and gathering places that are more inviting to use as we do our shopping and errands. We hope you will picture new landscaping and trees that will beautify the roadway and reflect the character of this important “complete street” that we all use every day.
McCauley asked for the community’s patience and understanding about the project, particularly its impact on traffic and its removal of trees from the central section of Miller Avenue, known as the “Main Street” area. Fifty trees were removed from the section of Miller Ave between Willow St. to Reed St./Valley Circle.
“The trees that were removed have many issues – most of them are stressed by the drought, others are not appropriate trees for this urban setting,” he added. “They are struggling in poor soil conditions, and a lot of them are at the end of their lifespan. The new streetscape will require some of the medians and crosswalks to be moved, and the trees that exist in those spots were removed as well.
Many of the community’s beloved redwood trees are among the 38 trees that have preserved in the Main Street area, McCauley said. “We have also worked with landscape designers to carefully create a replanting plan that will add 142 new trees in this section of Miller Avenue. When the project is done the total number of trees on “Main Street” will increase from 88 to 180.” More on the tree removal.
City officials have also asked commuters and employees of Miller Avenue businesses to park in the area from around Willow Avenue up to near Park Avenue to keep spaces in the Main Street area available for customers of the businesses in that area.
Here are the latest renderings of what the project will look like when finished: