City of Pismo Beach Claims Top Honors in 2022 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards

Mar 22, 2022

Also recognized are Lake, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties and of the city of Santa Clarita

Kayla Sherwood, League of California Cities, (530) 844-1744,
Kanisha Golden, California State Association of Counties, (916) 926-8769,


Sacramento - The League of California Cities (Cal Cities), County Engineers Association of California (CEAC), and California State Association of Counties® (CSAC) are excited to announce the winners of the 2022 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards, which recognize programs in counties and cities throughout California that preserve and protect the public’s investments in improving local streets, roads, and bridges.

Sponsored by Cal Cities, CEAC, and CSAC, the Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards Program will be awarded to five innovative and cost efficient programs during the Cal Cities Public Works Officers Institute/ CEAC Spring Conference on March 24 in Monterey.

“Local governments have been innovative and economical in stretching funding to improve roads while also being environmentally friendly,” said County Engineers Association of California President and Mendocino County Director of Public Works Howard Dashiell. "From reducing emissions and waste through sustainable paving techniques to creative projects that make our downtowns safer for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike, these excellent projects demonstrate the multiple benefits of investing in our local streets and roads.”

This year’s overall winner, the city of Pismo Beach, is recognized for its innovative safety and visibility for public right of way, using pedestrian bulb-outs and at-grade crossings to slow vehicle speeds while maintaining sufficient parking. The city also claimed honors in the Complete Streets Projects category.

“Californians depend on their local streets and roads, and despite decades of underfunding, cities and counties continue to deliver on important transportation projects to serve their communities,” said Cal Cities Department of Public Works President Jason Nutt, Santa Rosa Assistant City Manager and Director of Public Works. “These award-winning projects highlight the innovation and excellence happening at the local level to improve safety and accessibility to roadways for residents and can serve as a model throughout the state and across the nation.”

Brief descriptions of the winning projects are included below. Full descriptions of winners and finalists are available on the Save California Streets website.

Overall Winner and Complete Streets Project Winner (combined award)
Shell Beach Streetscape, City of Pismo Beach

The Shell Beach Streetscape project is an 18-block long project that improves safety and livability in the Pismo Beach community for all ages and abilities and allows active uses of the public right of way. The improvements include upgrades to sidewalk and ADA accessibility, improvements to drainage, resurfacing of the roadway, new crosswalks with increased visibility, and enhanced landscaping.

The project incorporates pedestrian bulb-outs, at-grade crossings, and other features to slow vehicle speeds and improve safety and visibility at every intersection, while maintaining sufficient parking to assuage concerns from businesses. The project was approved through the dedicated efforts of the city council, community, and city staff, and is an excellent model for other downtown areas.

Roads: Efficient and Sustainable Road Maintenance, Construction, and Reconstruction Projects
Keith Drive, Los Angeles County

The county of Los Angeles used a three-pronged approach to deliver the Keith Drive project, focusing on preserving roads in good condition, using recycled materials in pavement treatments, and reutilizing materials in-place when reconstructing roads. While many jurisdictions use these techniques, this is a great example for others to replicate.

California’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limited road maintenance funding were the key motivators for developing a sustainable approach to reconstructing this road. The project required fewer construction workdays, reducing impacts on traffic and the community. Environmental benefits included a 97% reduction in GHG emissions, 96% reduction in energy consumption, and a 16,000 cubic yard reduction in waste sent to the landfill. The cost savings of $7.4 million allowed the county to expand the project scope to include new curbs, gutters, and sidewalks with ADA approved access ramps, as well as invest in other roadway improvement projects.

Bridge: Efficient and Sustainable Bridge Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction Projects
Winner — 66th Avenue Grade Separation, Riverside County

The 66th Street Avenue Grade Separation project, which consisted of a new bridge crossing over State Route (SR) 111, Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks, and Hammond Road in the county of Riverside, including the realignment of SR 111, represents the effective execution of a project that demonstrates the complexities and challenges of bridge projects. Due to new construction, the project required coordination with the railroad and environmental agencies, in addition to the engineering of the grade separation and safety components. This project will provide uninterrupted access and improve goods movement in this region.

Honorable Mention—Bartlett Springs over Cache Creek Bridge Rehabilitation, Lake County

The Bartlett Springs project utilized an efficient, fix-it-first approach on a bridge in the county of Lake. The county reused and rehabilitated the existing structure as the project required removal of lead-based paint in a sensitive environmental context. 

Safety or Intelligent Transportation System Projects
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Project, City of Santa Clarita

The city of Santa Clarita is located in a wildfire-prone area that experiences strong winds. As a result, the local electrical utility has initiated more than 10 Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) during the past several years, affecting critical city infrastructure such as traffic signals. The city had equipped nearly all of its traffic signals with battery backup systems, but these batteries were designed to keep signals operating for short periods of time, with interruptions lasting a few hours. Since PSPS events typically last much longer, hundreds of hours of staff time were needed to coordinate and install portable stop signs and generators at intersections to preserve public safety.

City staff researched alternative power technologies and identified a system that utilizes hydrogen fuel cell technology, which combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, not combustion, to keep signals operating for extended power outages. The intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Whites Canyon Road was selected to receive this new system first as it has been impacted by past PSPS events and is an important evacuation route to nearby freeways.

The city is an early adopter of installing this type of system dedicated to traffic signals, which will aid in preserving public safety and keeping motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists circulating at critical intersections during extended power outages. The system also enhances safety for sheriffs and first responders.

To learn more about the Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards and explore previous award winning projects, please visit the Save California Streets website.