Cherokee Road Improvements


Cherokee Road from Sanguinetti Lane to Diverting Canal

City or County Responsible for Project: 

San Joaquin County

Award Category: 

Complete Streets Projects

Narrative Description Of Your Entry: 

Prior to improvements by San Joaquin County, Cherokee Road was a challenging area to travel through not only for vehicles but pedestrians as well. Development of the area dates back to the 1940s and 1950s, when few standards existed. Prior to the project, the pavement surface was in poor condition, rutted and riddled with cracks. The roadway also lacked an integrated storm drainage system, as only some portions had rudimentary drain inlets and intermittent roadside ditches. Other areas simply pooled or drained into the surrounding properties. Additionally, the corridor lacked pedestrian facilities despite the high volume of pedestrian traffic in the area including: schoolchildren; business patrons; and public transportation commuters/users. Where they existed, walkways were unpaved and close to the narrow roadway. In wet conditions, these poor drainage conditions forced pedestrians to choose between walking in the mud, or on the roadway and compete with the more than 4,000 vehicles per day that travel this corridor. Consequently, Public Works engineers sought and were successful to receive competitive federal grant funding to help address these problems. Through a series of public meetings, Public Works collaborated with the community to address these issues and their concerns. During a public outreach meeting, many residents and business owners expressed gratitude for the planned improvements that would meet their needs. To address the corridor’s deficiencies, the project provided: • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curb, gutter, and sidewalk, including bulb outs to reduce pedestrian crossing lengths and calm traffic • Placement of new drain inlets and reconstruction of existing storm drains to match the new curb, gutter and sidewalk grades • Full roadway reconstruction with parallel street parking During construction, San Joaquin County worked cooperatively with residents, retail businesses, as well as a day care and two churches to minimize the impacts of construction activities. Businesses were able to remain open for the duration of the construction period and neighbors were still able to easily access their homes. The roadway now consists of a single lane in each direction, a dual left-turn lane, paved shoulders to accommodate street parking, and curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements. These improvements positively impacted almost a mile of Cherokee Road, and resulted in a much safer roadway for residents as well as people passing through, and have given the community a new sense of pride and connectivity for which it is very grateful.

Submitted by: 

Kris Balaji


Director of Public Works


San Joaquin County Department of Public Works


1810 E. Hazelton Avenue


(209) 468-3000



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.