County of Marin - News Releases - Civic Center Drive Project

For Immediate Release
July 08, 2016

Civic Center Drive Redevelopment Moves Ahead

Work near SMART station, roundabout scheduled in coming months in San Rafael

San Rafael, CA – With the completion of the 2016 Marin County Fair, contractors are readying the northern portion of Civic Center Drive in San Rafael for a project that will bring improvements for traffic, bike riders and pedestrians in the busy area near the Marin Center and the Marin County Fairgrounds.  

A detour is being built around the intersection of Civic Center Drive and Peter Behr Drive so a roundabout can replace the current intersection.
In planning and designing the project for the past four years, Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) is working with Ghilotti Bros. Inc. on the reconstruction of the section between the train tracks at McInnis Parkway to approximately 100 feet southeast of the Civic Center Drive and Peter Behr Drive intersection. Passenger rail service by the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is expected to begin in late 2016, including stops at the Civic Center station near the junction of Civic Center Drive and McInnis Parkway.

Local traffic will be impacted during construction. Work on the bypass road that will allow the construction of the roundabout at Civic Center Drive and Peter Behr Drive has begun and is expected to be completed by mid-July. The bypass will cut through the existing gravel parking lot, commonly known as the Christmas tree lot, on the west side of Civic Center Drive and continue around the existing intersection at Peter Behr Drive. Work will then begin with the construction of the roundabout itself. Traffic will be diverted onto the bypass road until the roundabout is complete sometime in early autumn. 

The County is allocating $4.1 million for construction of accessible pedestrian and bicycle pathways, lighting, landscaping, improved drainage, signage and the roundabout and other road improvements. Of that total, about $1.2 million in state and federal grants for the project also have been committed. The improvements will provide seamless connectivity between the SMART station, Marin Center, the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Lagoon Park, the government offices at the Civic Center and an anticipated permanent farmers market facility on the existing Christmas tree lot. County DPW provided an overview of the project in a 2014 video.

Patrick Zuroske, the County’s DPW Capital Division Manager, said he urges travelers to be alert and cautious in the construction area once work begins. There will be continued vehicle access and parking for events at the Marin Center and Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. The Thursday Farmers Market, which normally takes place in the Marin Center parking lot, has moved to the Northgate mall parking lot for the next few months because of the construction project. The Sunday Farmers Market will continue to be conducted at the Civic Center at its usual parking lot location throughout construction.

The construction is expected to shift to the northern section of Civic Center Drive in early fall 2016, including the area south of the SMART tracks to the roundabout. This section will be expanded and will contain on-street bicycle lanes, new bus stops and shelters, new lighting, signage and new drainage. This completion of the northern section is expected by late November. Landscaping work within the corridor is expected to extend into November and December. 

Overflow event parking at the Christmas tree lot will be limited and DPW is encouraging patrons to plan ahead, use caution when travelling through the corridor and to allow extra time to reach destinations within the Civic Center Campus.


Patrick Zuroske
Facilities Planning and Development Manager
Department of Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94913
(415) 473-2298
CRS Dial 711
Email: Patrick Zuroske