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Palo Alto repairs concrete slabs at transit center

The high-traffic Palo Alto Transit Center bus depot will be closed through Sept. 21 for a pavement repair project on University Circle.

The Stanford University Marguerite shuttle’s pick up and drop off will remain at the transit center area but VTA and SamTrans bus stops will be relocated to Quarry Road during the work, according to the city of Palo Alto.

The $655,651 contract with JJR Construction includes replacing 12,000 square feet of damaged concrete slabs and the installation of 770 square feet of sidewalks and six curbs.

The project does not include replacing the entire surface of the circle. Only damaged concrete slabs will be replaced.

“We’re replacing a little over half of the slabs for the whole area,” said Holly Boyd, a senior engineer for the city of Palo Alto. “There’s a lot more bus and shuttle traffic than when the original circle was built in the early 1940s and over time the slabs have deteriorated.”

Boyd said some of the slabs were replaced just more than 10 years ago and were expected to hold up longer. Boyd said, for this project, the city will allow for a longer curing time for the concrete before opening up the circle to traffic and hopefully that will allow the concrete to come into full strength.

Construction crews also will add a concrete sidewalk and curb ramps to the island in front of the MacArthur Park restaurant that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Boyd said the new sidewalks and ramps will mean “easier mobility” for commuters who now often get off buses and trains and walk through grass to get to El Camino Real.

Stanford, which owns the area in front of the MacArthur Park restaurant, has agreed to reimburse the city up to $21,970 for the cost of the concrete work on their land.

Palo Alto will pay for the project out of its Capital Improvement Program fund.

JJR Construction will do the work in three phases and have 10 days for each phase. The first phase started Monday.