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Laurene Weste: Brought to you by your City Council

Live From City Hall

Posted: March 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Packed with numerous projects in various stages of the construction process, 2011 is set to be a busy year for the city of Santa Clarita.

This year, the city is working on many Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects, ranging from introducing a roundabout to the Newhall area to expanding a Metrolink parking lot.

These CIP projects are essential to keeping our city safe and functional. With so many great improvements in the works, residents can be excited to start seeing some of these projects enter construction throughout the year.

CIP projects are designed to upgrade and improve the city’s infrastructure. Construction of parks facilities and buildings, road maintenance, new landscaped median construction and beautification, and more are all part of the program that is funded by multiple sources.

           Along with the construction of the 30,000-square-foot Old Town Newhall Library and the Transit Maintenance Facility Solar Canopy project, the city has some exciting new projects currently in the design phase.

The design phase involves creating a plan to estimate as accurately as possible the time, cost and resources that the project will require. The design phase is important because adequate planning contributes to a project’s successful completion.

Another project coming up is the roundabout traffic circle that will be added to the Old Town Newhall area, across from Hart Park.

The project includes a new traffic circle at the intersection of Fifth Street and Newhall Avenue to allow for a smoother, safer flow of traffic around the area.

It will also create a focal point to highlight the entrance to Main Street using landscape and art. With road plans nearing completion, a landscape architect has been selected and is currently working on conceptual and preliminary landscape plans. Public outreach is set to begin this spring.

Another major project coming up this year will involve the construction of seismic upgrades to the City Hall building. These upgrades are key since the  building serves as the city’s primary emergency center.

This project is still in the design phase and is pending approvals from the California Emergency Management Authority as well as for federal grants to fund the project.

The city is also planning to expand parking at the Jan Heidt Newhall Metrolink Station. This expansion project will extend parking on city-owned land near the Newhall Community Center. Also in the design phase is the Newhall Avenue pedestrian facilities project. This project will provide for an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-acceptable pedestrian pathway along Newhall Avenue crossing over the railroad track to Carl Court. This project is in the final phase of design and is expected to reach the bidding process by May.

The McBean Regional Transit Center Park & Ride is a project that will provide for a new parking facility on the five-acre lot adjacent to the existing McBean Transit Center on the northwest corner of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway.

The project will add between 200 and 300 new parking spaces plus landscaping, passenger loading areas, and other related infrastructure to serve commuters. Property acquisition is in progress and public outreach activities are scheduled to begin this month.

The I-5 Lyons Beautification Project currently in the design phase is geared to provide new landscaping improvements to beautify the I-5 Lyons on-and-off ramps within the city limits. This is a joint effort with the county to beautify this important Santa Clarita entry way. Preliminary designs have been completed and a portion of these plans will be ready for submittal to Caltrans for approval in March. Final plans, pending Caltrans approval, will be completed in May of this year.

Capital Improvement Projects are just one example of the city’s continual effort toward keeping Santa Clarita safe and beautiful, while maintaining the high quality of life residents enjoy. Community members with ideas or suggestions on possible future projects can contact the city’s Public Works Division at (661) 286-4135 or pick up a Request for New Project Form at City Hall. Suggestions are always welcome as part of the City’s ongoing efforts toward keeping Santa Clarita beautiful for years to come.

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Council member and can be reached at: Her column reflects her own views, and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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