The City of Rancho Mirage reduced congestion on three arterial streets this year by widening two of its most heavily traveled intersections to build-out capacity. The Bob Hope Drive and Gerald Ford Drive Street Improvements project was completed in April 2016 and the Bob Hope Drive and Frank Sinatra Drive Street Improvements project was completed in December 2016. Each leg of the two intersections was widened to ensure a second left turn lane and a dedicated right turn lane in each direction. The goals, construction methods, and benefits of the projects are similar. Since the project intersections are located one mile apart and are directly affected, they were completed sequentially in order to reduce delays and minimize disruption. Both projects utilized Tire Rubber Modified Asphalt Cement (TRMAC) pavement, a mix that incorporates ground, recycled tire rubber into asphalt cement in order to increase longevity, reduce road noise, and provide a smooth driving surface. Outdated wooden power poles were replaced with decorative brown concrete poles, which were relocated in order to expand intersection width and improve traffic safety. The project also involved extensions of storm drain lines, underground utility relocations due to a change in grade, and upgrades including new emergency vehicle video detection, audible signals, pedestrian push buttons, and pedestrian access ramps to meet current ADA standards. Bob Hope Drive is one of the Coachella Valley’s most frequently used arterial roadways and connects Interstate 10 with Highway 111, the City’s main commercial roadway. Some of the region’s largest businesses are located along Bob Hope Drive, including Eisenhower Medical Center, Agua Caliente Casino, and several shopping centers including The River, Walgreens, Gelson’s, and Rancho Las Palmas. These destinations contribute to an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) count of 22,608 vehicles between the two intersections, but that figure is projected to rise to more than 41,000 vehicles at city build-out. Bob Hope Drive is also the only permitted north-south truck route exclusively within Rancho Mirage’s city limits. Both intersections were eyed as priority candidates for these widening improvements in the City’s 2005 General Plan Update due to ADTs and high turn movement counts and because they didn’t meet the City’s mobility standard for arterial streets. The improvements are consistent with the City’s General Plan for build-out arterial street width and Level of Service. The City worked closely with staff at Sunnylands, the estate formerly owned by philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, to remove and reconstruct a portion of an iconic pink block wall adjacent to the Bob Hope Drive and Frank Sinatra Drive intersection. Work began shortly after President Obama visited the center and it required that a new wall be constructed to match the existing wall. Temporary fences were constructed to maintain security at Sunnylands during construction.
Bob Hope Drive/Gerald Ford Drive Intersection and Bob Hope Drive/Frank Sinatra Drive Intersection in the City of Rancho Mirage
City or County Responsible for Project:
City of Rancho Mirage
Roads: Efficient and Sustainable Road Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects.
Narrative Description Of Your Entry:
Mark W. Sambito, P.E.
Director of Public Works
City of Rancho Mirage
69-825 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270