Balfour Road Shoulder Widening Project


Balfour Road from Bixler Road to Sellers Avenue

City or County Responsible for Project: 

Contra Costa County Public Works

Award Category: 

Roads: Efficient and Sustainable Road Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects.

Narrative Description Of Your Entry: 

Contra Costa County is dedicated to providing public services which improve the quality of life of our residents using innovative and sustainable techniques whenever feasible. The County’s Balfour Road Shoulder Widening Project reconstructed and widened 3 miles of a 20-foot wide roadway with 2 10-foot-wide travel lanes to a 36-foot paved roadway with 2 12-foot wide travel lanes and 6-foot wide paved shoulders. The project is located in unincorporated Contra Costa County between the City of Brentwood and Town of Discovery Bay. The completed roadway includes 12-foot wide left turn pockets at the Byron Highway and Bixler Road intersections and 3 miles of continuous Class II bike lanes on both sides of the road. The project reconstructed the existing roadway using a Cold-In-Place Recycling (CIR) process which reused the existing roadway asphalt surface to rehabilitate and extend the service life of the paved roadway. Balfour Road is approximately 50 years old and showed signs of pavement and base failure along the entire 3 mile project length. Rather than create a patchwork of localized digouts with numerous construction joints, the roadway was rehabilitated using a CIR process. This process also allowed the crown of the roadway to be reestablished without trucking in approximately 4000 tons of HMA and the 165 trucks trips necessary to bring in the material through the rural agricultural area. In addition, the digouts would not have addressed the overall service life of the roadway, and additional rehabilitation efforts would have been necessary in the future. The CIR process pulverized the top 6 inches of the existing asphalt surface and mixed the crushed asphalt with an asphalt recycling agent before placing it back down with a paver. The roadway was then completed using a Rubberized Hot Mix Asphalt (RHMA) overlay for the entire 3 mile project. The RHMA includes a material made of recycled tires which have been ground up and blended into asphalt cement and aggregate. This environmentally-friendly treatment provides a higher thickness equivalency than HMA for resistance to reflective cracking. It also provides a smoother and quieter ride for the vehicles and the bicycles and reduces noise from vehicles on the roadway. The existing 20-foot wide roadway was used by heavy agricultural truck traffic. The wider travel lanes and shoulders provide added pavement for the larger vehicles and dedicated Class II bike lanes for bicycle commuters. The 3 miles of bike lanes extend bike connectivity from the City of Brentwood to Bixler Road providing a continuous multi use corridor from State Route 4 to the East Contra Costa County community of Discovery Bay. The completed $5.9 million project was built using methods that reused existing materials, considered public and worker safety, continued community relations through coordination and responsiveness to the public and resulted in an improved and multi-use roadway for East Contra Costa County.

Submitted by: 

Adelina Huerta


Senior Civil Engineer


Contra Cost County Public Works


255 Glacier Drive Martinez, CA 94553


925 313-2305



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