The Mill Valley-Sausalito Multiuse Path stretching from Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito north to East Blithedale Ave. in Mill Valley was built 35 years ago. Since its debut in 1981, it has become one of the most popular paths in the entire Bay Area, with more than a half-million people using it between March and November each year, according to the annual WalkBikeMarin Path Counts.

Despite its age and heavy use, the path hasn’t been repaved since its inception, save for a few minor touch-ups. After several years of delays, that’s going to change in 2017, as the County of Marin has federal grant money in hand and plans to lay a fresh coat of smooth asphalt and make accessibility improvements on almost a mile of the pathway by late 2017.

The Marin County Department of Public Works will oversee the design and construction of the project on a 4,900-foot-long stretch of the pathway between from East Blithedale Avenue on the north end and Almonte Boulevard to the south. That portion runs along the waterfront of Richardson’s Bay’s Pickleweed Inlet, adjacent to the Mill Valley Community Center, Mill Valley Middle School, the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin, Bothin Marsh and Tamalpais High School.

The County of Marin was awarded $320,000 of federal Priority Conservation Area funding, with a $320,000 local match provided by County Parks’ Measure A fund, a quarter-cent retail and use tax passed by local voters in 2012. DPW aims to design and acquire environmental clearance in 2016 for the work, which will include repaving and installation of new benches with accessible sitting areas. It hopes to put the project out to bid in summer 2017 and begin construction in fall 2017.

During construction, bikers and pedestrians will have to use detours:

The County of Marin (DPW, Marin County Parks, and Marin County Sheriff’s Office), the City of Mill Valley and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition are collaborating to improve access and safety along the route. Fresh striping and stencils were added recently. In addition to the physical improvements from DPW, there are three other parts of the overall plan:

  • Share the Path campaign, which promotes safety, trail communication and friendliness;
  • regulatory changes including an enlarged “slow zone” of 10 mph adjacent to Bayfront Park, and;
  • increased enforcement of safety rules and regulations.

County officials say they plan to resurface the rest of the 3.1-mile pathway and replace the bridges when funding becomes available. In May 2015, a first-of-its-kind roundabout intersection was installed on the pathway near Mill Valley Middle School to enhance safety. In 2014, the City of Mill Valley added a short connector pathway at Sycamore Avenue to help people reach the main pathway.

Bike riders and pedestrians will use detour routes during pathway construction. Learn more about DPW’s construction schedule online.

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