County of Marin - News Releases - Engineering Awards

For Immediate Release
September 12, 2017

Engineering Industry Bestows Accolades on County

Civic Center Drive and Central Marin Ferry Connection projects receive awards

San Rafael, CA – Two major Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) projects, both designed to improve transportation safety and efficiency as well as encourage nonmotorized transit, are set to receive awards from two of the most prominent organizations in the engineering industry.

A hilltop view looking down on the completed traffic roundabout.The traffic roundabout on Civic Center Drive, opened in May, has earned the County a significant engineering award.
On September 14, the newly completed Civic Center Drive Improvement Project in San Rafael will be awarded the prestigious Outstanding Transportation Project from American Society of Civil Engineers’ San Francisco Section (ASCE). Then on October 13, the Central Marin Ferry Connection Path in Larkspur will be honored by the Engineering News Record (ENR) with an Urban Development Award of Merit.

The $6 million Civic Center Drive Improvement Project, which was completed in May 2017, provides enhanced safety, multimodal connectivity and increased traffic flow from southeast of the Civic Center Drive and Peter Behr Drive intersection to north of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) tracks at McInnis Parkway. The milestone project required multiagency coordination between the DPW, City of San Rafael, SMART, Caltrans, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Marin Transit, Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM), Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center Conservancy, and the California State Office of Historic Preservation.

The half-mile corridor was fully redesigned, highlighted by a single-lane roundabout intersection. The design maximizes seamless connectivity for all forms of motorized and nonmotorized transportation between the SMART station, Marin Center, the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the Civic Center and the potential site of a permanent farmers market. The user-friendly corridor has been noticeably effective in handling SMART’s passenger service that started last month. The project incorporated a complete-streets approach, optimizing accessibility for all users, utilizing separate bicycle and pedestrian paths to guide travelers safely between the Civic Center campus, Lagoon Park and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. The corridor includes new sustainability technologies such as bio-retention areas for stormwater runoff and drought resistant landscaping.

Officially completed in November of 2016, the Central Marin Ferry Connection Path is a groundbreaking achievement for promoting nonmotorized transit. The 280-foot bridge over Sir Francis Drake Boulevard gives bicyclists and pedestrians a safe and separate pathway, free of motorized vehicles and roadside hazards. Bypassing Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, a major vehicular thoroughfare for the area, effectively closed the gap between San Rafael and the Larkspur Ferry terminal, allowing for seamless nonmotorized access between the two locations.

At the cost of $10 million, the project is a prominent example for alternative commuting and enhances the region’s recreational pedestrian and bicycle options, providing safe, direct and convenient access between a multitude of local schools, business centers and residential communities. The funding was provided by TAM and came primarily from a variety of state and federal programs. The effort involved extensive coordination between DPW, TAM, SMART and the City of Larkspur.

The organizations honoring these two engineering achievements are national leaders of the industry. The ASCE, founded in 1852, is America’s longest running engineering society and, with over 150,000 members, it ranks as one of the largest in the world. ENR has been the industry leader for American engineering news since it started 143 years ago. Both of them use independent juries of prominent industry professionals to select their respective awards.


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