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Construction to cooperate with businesses

Main Street makeover to last until early July

Posted: March 13, 2009 12:36 a.m.
Updated: March 13, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 
Before the sound of jackhammers and the scent of diesel fuel fills the air in downtown Newhall, city officials met with business owners to answer questions about the "streetscaping" set to begin Monday morning.

Assistant city engineer Chris Price met with about 25 Newhall residents and business owners Thursday night at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, giving an overview of the months-long construction project and answering questions.

"We've all been waiting a long time for this to happen," he said. "We're going to work as hard as we can to make this go smoothly."

The makeover of Main Street between 6th and 8th streets is expected to last into early July.

Workers from R.C. Becker and Son will replace the sidewalks between 6th Street and 8th Street, adding shrubs, trees, lampposts, planters, trash cans and benches.

At intersections and mid-block crossings, the sidewalks will jut out into the street - so-called "bulb-outs" - which slow down or "calm" traffic.

Construction work will take place Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Price said. Night work has not been considered at this point.

Traffic will be one-way through Newhall during the construction, said Brad Therrien of Spirit Construction, which has set up a community liaison office at 24261 1/2 Main Street.

While work is done on the east side of the street, for example, traffic will be one way heading from Lyons Avenue toward Highway 14, and vice versa, Therrien said.

Concerns about parking issues were raised by Sabina Fetter, who owns Capelli Salon near the corner of Main and 6th streets.

"There has to be communication, because we do have people coming in constantly," she said. "My clients are having really big issues about not being able to get to my front door."

Price assured her that, "(construction crews) are not just going to show up one morning and block the entrance of a building.
"We will work with businesses."

He added that the parking lot at the corner of Main and 6th streets will remain open for use during construction.

Price said the plan is to complete the majority of the project in time for the city's annual July 4 parade, which begins by heading through downtown Newhall.

The project will not immediately affect the city's weekly farmers' market, held Thursdays on Market Street at the corner of Main Street.

The entire project is expected to top out at $2.8 million, with about $2.3 million of that going to construction costs.

The streetscaping is the second major phase in the city's plan to redevelop the aging downtown Newhall community into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood that will draw visitors from both inside and outside the Santa Clarita Valley.

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