SAN JOSE, CA – July 9, 2013 – The Greenroads Foundation announced that the Monterey Road Reconstruction Project in San José, California has become the first project to achieve Greenroads certification in the state, receiving a Greenroads Bronze Rating for its design and construction sustainability efforts. As California’s first-ever “Greenroad”, the urban highway rehabilitation project represents a major milestone for both the City of San José and the Foundation.

For the City of San José, the Monterey Road Reconstruction Project offered an opportunity to implement greener pavement technologies on its streets in line with the City’s “Green Vision” goals and sustainability policies. Project Engineer Patrick Hess, who worked for San José’s Infrastructure Maintenance Division (IMD) when the project was undertaken, says that their Greenroads Rating “demonstrates that San José and its IMD are being progressive in environmental areas. Taking a leadership role, combined with the size of our street network (largest in the Bay Area), will lead to new green technologies being used more often in the San Francisco Bay region.”

The Greenroads Rating System is a collection of sustainable roadway design and construction best practices that address water, environment, access, community impact, construction practices and materials. There are 11 "Project Requirements” that must be completed in order for a roadway to be considered a Greenroad, as well as 37 "Voluntary Credits" that a project team can choose to pursue. After a rigorous review process, the Greenroads Foundation then assigns a project score based on the number of points earned by meeting the requirements and achieving credits. This score translates to one of four certification levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Evergreen.

Hess described his experience with the Greenroads Certification process as “an eye opener. . . It put us (Pavement Maintenance) in touch with noise measurement engineers, environmental design folks, and San José street lighting crew, just to name a few. These aspects would never have been explored without the Greenroads prompting.”

The 2.1-mile long, four lane section of Monterey Road between Blossom Hill and Bernal Roads was built in 1912, but has been travelled since the late 17th century. Before the reconstruction project, it was considered one of the worst roadways in the state for travelers due to pavement condition and noise.

Construction work included pavement reconstruction using cold-in-place recycling (CIR), an innovative method of reusing the existing pavement in place that reduces the need to bring new materials to the project site. The CIR method allowed the project to preserve and reuse 97% of the existing roadway, which saves money on fuel to transport materials to the project, thereby also avoiding emissions from construction truck traffic.

Compared to the conventional method of pavement preservation, the City was able to save 23% on the overall cost of the project. Executive Director Jeralee Anderson notes, “That’s real money saved. San José’s proactive choice to try something different literally translates into another half mile of pavement that can be improved somewhere else in the City.”

Other features of the newly rehabilitated pavement project include:

  • A hot-mix asphalt overlay that used 19% recycled rubber tires as a replacement for asphalt, which also makes the pavement quieter.
  • An injury-free, safe workzone during construction of the roadway as a result of thoughtful construction traffic control efforts and a commitment to safety.
  • Low-energy light-emitting diode (LED) street lighting with dimming controls.

The contractor on the Monterey Road Reconstruction Project was Pavex, a division of Graniterock Construction from Watsonville, California. Engineering and construction oversight was provided by the City of San José’s Infrastructure Maintenance Division.

The project certification award is scheduled to be presented to the City Council of San José on August 20, 2013 by Jeralee Anderson, Executive Director of the Greenroads Foundation.

Currently, there are over 30 registered Greenroads Projects pursuing certification and 7 completed and certified projects in the world. There are four other municipalities in California with Greenroads Projects under construction in Campbell, San Francisco, Santa Ana and Orange County. Several other registered projects around the U.S. are slated to finish certification in 2013, located in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, and Houston.