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Newhall construction work continues

Downtown streetscaping project will cost about $2.8 million

Posted: May 3, 2009 9:55 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Mike See, left, John Collini and Dan Wilkins work on structuring the storm drain underground on Main Street in downtown Newhall on Friday afternoon. The streetscaping work is scheduled to be complete in time for the city's July 4 parade.

 
Downtown Newhall may look like a dusty mess of construction equipment, but crews are moving forward on the street landscaping - or streetscaping - of the valley's bedrock community.

"It's been going pretty well, and we're still slightly ahead of schedule," Assistant City Engineer Chris Price said Friday.

Workers from R.C. Becker and Son set to work March 16, replacing 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.

The work is on track to be completed in time for the city's July 4 parade, Price said.

He said almost all of the new curbing has been completed on the east side of the street, and next week crews will start installing paver stones in the sidewalks.

"It's going to rapidly look better," he said.

The entire project is expected to top out at a cost of $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.

The streetscaping work is being done during the day. However, Price said the Newhall County Water District is taking advantage of the excavation and doing some work at night.

The water district is installing a 24-inch-diameter main line underneath the street, which is part of a future modernization project for Newhall's water system, he said.

Putting the Downtown Newhall Specific Plan - approved in 2005 - into action began last year with the addition of angled parking on Main Street (formerly San Fernando Road) and stop signs at every intersection through the downtown area.

The city has also installed signs at both ends of Main Street, advising motorists that downtown businesses are still open during the construction.

As the work progresses along Main Street, residents and business owners are getting a more tangible picture of the new face of Newhall.

"You can see how it's going to turn out," said Sabina Fetter, owner of Capelli Salon at the corner of Main and 6th streets. "It's coming to fruition."

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