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Frank Ferry: Stimulus dollars already at work in Santa Clarita

Live from City Hall

Posted: November 12, 2009 8:29 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
On Oct. 30, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stood beside Vice President Joe Biden as he announced that nearly 1 million jobs had either been created or retained, as a result of the approximately $160 billion that had thus far been appropriated to state and local governments, businesses, school districts and other nonprofit organizations from the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Schwarzenegger, the state of California secured the largest amount of federal funding from the stimulus package — more than any other state. And as part of the city’s own 21-Point Business Plan for Progress, Santa Clarita is currently in line to receive more than $18 million which will go a long way toward improving our city’s infrastructure, investing in our transit system, providing new green energy incentives for our businesses and most importantly, creating jobs.

The first three of 18 planned stimulus-related projects are underway, having already created or saved 43 jobs. That number is expected to grow exponentially in the coming months.  

Speaking of those projects underway, you may have noticed crews working throughout the night on stretches of Soledad Canyon Road and McBean Parkway as part of the city’s Asphalt Roadway Rehabilitation Project, Phases I and II. Additionally, crews are hard at work constructing a landscaped median at the intersection of Newhall Avenue and Sierra Highway that will provide three through-lanes in each direction and a bus shoulder at the southwest and northwest corners of the intersection. All three of the projects are set to be complete by the end of 2009.

In the next several weeks, the city will also begin repairing and replacing curbs, gutters and sidewalks at various bridge locations throughout Santa Clarita. These improvements will greatly enhance the safety of the city’s bridge infrastructure.

The city also will be replacing the pavement markers and striping on the bridge decks making it easier for motorists to see, especially at night. This project is expected to be complete by the end of January 2010.

In the coming months, the city will begin constructing a right-turn pocket at the intersection of Whites Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road, allowing the Whites Canyon northbound through lanes to flow without having to slow for the right turning movements onto Soledad Canyon, which reduces fuel consumption and aids driver comfort. This is in direct response to residents requests.

The remaining stimulus-related projects are all expected to get underway within the next year. Be sure to keep an eye out for parking improvements to both the Newhall Metrolink station and the McBean transfer station, new façades dotting the buildings of downtown Newhall as part of the city’s façade improvement program. Also watch for the $4.6 million Transit Maintenance Facility solar carport and canopy project, which will supply the LEED-certified TMF administration building with 95 percent of its electricity needs.  

The city of Santa Clarita looks forward to continuing to work with our federal and state partners to make sure these funds are spent in a timely and efficient manner, helping to further boost the economy by creating and saving even more jobs within our community.

Frank Ferry is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” appears Fridays in The Signal.

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