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Investing in our infrastructure

Community

Posted: July 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.

City of Santa Clarita / Courtesy photo

 

If you’ve lived in Santa Clarita for some time, you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that our city has “grown up.”

In the years following our city’s incorporation, we spent a great deal of time building new roads, parks, libraries, community centers and facilities to support a high quality of life.

Today, the Santa Clarita City Council remains focused on providing residents and business owners with a quality environment, and we’re doing that by adding new amenities when needed, and updating and improving upon our existing, mature infrastructure.

This year, the City Council adopted a $39.1 million Capital Improvement Program, which represents 21 percent of the $191.5 million 2014-2015 Fiscal Year budget. The budget provides funding for several projects geared toward improving our valuable facilities, roads, sidewalks, and medians.

One of the biggest projects in our infrastructure program is the widening of the Golden Valley Road Bridge over SR-14. The project is expected to result in a big improvement for commuters, as we expand the bridge from one lane in each direction to six total lanes. The project will also add a sidewalk on the north side of the bridge, and a shared sidewalk and bike path on the south side. The project is currently in the design phase with construction expected to begin in early 2015.

The McBean Parkway Bridge expansion project is nearly complete. We expect all eight lanes along the bridge to be open this fall. Once the lanes are open, construction will begin on the median and overlay component of the project, further enhancing the drive along this heavily-used corridor.

Maintaining the viability and safety of our heavily traveled roads is a top priority for the City Council. This year the budget includes funding for modifications at three intersections, including Orchard Village Road and Wiley Canyon Road, Seco Canyon Road and Pamplico Drive and State Route 14 at Sand Canyon.

The updates will include protected left turn signal phasing and the extension of left turn pockets, which will enhance traffic circulation at all three intersections.

We’ll also continue with Phase Four of the city’s comprehensive signal synchronization project, which includes installing fiber optic wiring at locations where gaps currently exist.

The City Council also allocated $10.5 million in funding for the overlay and slurry seal program, which helps maintain the quality of our city streets.

By committing funds to this program every year, the city prevents excessive roadway deterioration, which makes for a smoother ride across town.

We’ve also allocated $1 million for the city’s sidewalk repair program, which enhances sidewalks throughout the community that have been damaged by tree roots and pavement settlement.

Santa Clarita’s parks are hallmarks of our community. This year we are taking steps to improve upon Old Orchard Park, which was built in 1968.

We will be conducting a comprehensive planning and public participation process to re-evaluate the form and function of the park. This will include a review of irrigation, the community room and facilities, parking and uses, and we look forward to your feedback on the project.

I’ve received some questions about the status of the former Newhall Library on 9th Street, which will reopen as the Santa Clarita Business Incubator this year.

The concept allows small, creative startup companies an opportunity to rent low-cost work space in the city’s growing arts and entertainment district in Old Town Newhall.

The facility will have room for approximately six to eight small businesses, which will share conference and meeting room amenities.

The city will be releasing a request for proposals from interested entrepreneurs, and all appropriate ventures will be considered and evaluated for this unique opportunity. If you are interested in becoming a tenant, please contact the City’s Economic Development Division.

The City Council and staff work hard to support a strong Santa Clarita from the ground up. We take great pride in being one of the best places to live and to do business, and that begins with quality infrastructure and amenities.

The city is committed to protecting and preserving our roads, facilities, trails and public spaces, ensuring that the investments of yesterday remain viable and useful well into our city’s future.

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

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