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Bob Kellar: Capital improvement projects on horizon

Posted: October 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Every year, the Santa Clarita City Council adopts a capital improvement plan to help identify and prioritize projects that add value to the community and enhance the quality of life for Santa Clarita residents and businesses.

For the fiscal year 2013 budget, the city allocated $46.4 million to capital improvement projects, which represents a 44 percent increase over last year.

This substantial increase is a result of Santa Clarita successfully securing $12.3 million in grant funding, which helps our city design and build important projects for the community.

The following is a brief overview of the city’s capital improvement projects for the upcoming fiscal year.



Road and bridge projects

There are five major road and bridge infrastructure projects that are slated to be completed over the next few years in the community. Currently, the city is working on widening a bridge over the Santa Clara River on McBean Parkway near the post office.

This project will add more traffic lanes and a bike path as well as improve congestion along this heavily used roadway. Look for construction to begin next spring.

Additional road improvements being constructed on McBean Parkway include a new bus turnout at the southwest corner of the intersection of McBean and Avenida Navarre and a modified median on McBean in front of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, which will lengthen the left-turn pocket at Avenida Navarre.

In Canyon Country, the city will begin construction on the widening of Golden Valley Bridge over Highway 14. Right now, that section is a two-lane roadway that regularly backs up during peak travel times.

The expansion project will make it a safer, six-lane road with new sidewalks and a shared bike path. This will greatly enhance freeway access in that area. This project is expected to begin in the summer.

The city is also in the environmental study stage for a road extension linking Via Princessa to Golden Valley Road. On Dockweiler Drive, the city is evaluating another road extension between Valle del Oro and Lyons Avenue.

Design for a roundabout across from William S. Hart Park is also under way with enhanced landscaping, a central art component and a monument entrance to Main Street. This will allow for better traffic flow at the intersections of Fifth Street, Newhall Avenue and Main Street.



Expansion of Park-and-Ride lots and new bike lanes

One of the ways the city is helping to improve traffic circulation this year is through the construction of a new Park and Ride facility at the McBean Transfer Station. This project will increase regional transportation options for community members, reduce traffic and help improve air quality.

The $4.2 million project will include more than 280 new parking spaces, a five-bus-bay concrete platform covered by steel canopies, enhanced landscape beautification, a monument wall, public art exhibits, low-impact site lighting using LED technology, and sustainable design elements.

The city is also adding bike striping for bike lanes to increase opportunities for residents to safely bike to work in the areas of Centre Pointe Parkway, Orchard Village and Tourney Road.



Street overlay program

The city understands safe and efficient travel on well-maintained streets is important and has allocated $6.9 million in the 2013 fiscal year budget to fund overlay improvements.



Roadway beautification projects

Keeping Santa Clarita beautiful is a full-time job and one that is not only aesthetically important but increases local property values. Thanks to the city’s Landscape Maintenance District, Santa Clarita will be working on beautification projects that enable it to transform areas with drought-tolerant landscape and hardscape.

There are a variety of upcoming beautification projects happening throughout Santa Clarita, including: raised landscaped medians along Newhall Avenue to Sierra Highway, which is in design this year with construction planned for next year; landscape, hardscape and curbs on Golden Valley Road from Centre Pointe Parkway to Robert C. Lee Parkway; new landscaped medians on Sierra Highway between Friendly Valley Parkway and Via Princessa; major landscape and hardscape enhancements to the on- and off-ramps at Sand Canyon off Highway 14.

The city’s fiscal year 2013 budget reflects its ability to stay true to the values that make Santa Clarita a special place for doing business, raising a family and enjoying a superior quality of life.

Bob Kellar is a Santa Clarita City Council member and can be reached at bkellar@santa-clarita.com.

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