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Drivers will soon see a drill rig on the edge of Princeton Avenue. Caltrans has requested more information before approving the design for the Princeton Avenue Improvement project. The project will widen the road and be closer to one of the large columns of the southbound 118 bridge. The City has hired a engineering company to drill test holes on the south side of Princeton Avenue so that the additional engineering analysis can be submitted to Caltrans.
Construction of this $7 million improvement project is scheduled to occur as soon as possible after the State of California (Caltrans) approves the project documents. Once the State approves the documents, the City Council will authorize staff to obtain bids. The project will improve approximately 4,000 feet of Princeton Avenue, from the Sharma Construction property to Condor Drive. The improvements include widening the road to achieve standard width lanes, a continuous left turn median lane, bike lanes, sidewalks, landscaped parkways, drainage improvements, street lights and screening/retaining walls where needed.
The City has obtained full funding for the work. The City has earned a $1.1 million Highway Safety Improvement Project Grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The remaining, estimated $5.9 million construction cost will be funded from developer fees designed to reduce congestion. The work will be done over approximately 18 months in stages to ensure that traffic can still move through and around the work.
Current Major Activities:
1. Caltrans Plan Review – The City’s second version of the design plans have been in review at Caltrans District 7 in Los Angeles since March 18, 2019. Caltrans’ review was completed on June 25, 2019. The City’s design engineer is preparing a response to the comments. The significant comments include: a state requirement to build a protective wall at one of the columns supporting the southbound bridge above Princeton; and a requirement to apply new road standards to the former state highway (Princeton) that would require new geometry, significant design changes, additional right-of-way and new environmental study. Staff’s response to Caltrans will include a request for a variance on that second comment. The City’s third submittal was delivered to Caltrans on October 3, 2019. The revised design protects the Caltrans bridge column from lateral loads by building a protective wall. Staff successfully challenged the proposed requirement to apply new road standards to the design for this former state highway. The design geometry changes and all the other work that would require will NOT have to be done.
2. Caltrans Right of Way Review – One property owner needs to execute right of entry agreements for the construction of driveway approaches to their property. Otherwise, acquisition of the permanent and temporary construction rights to widen and improve the road is complete. Once the design plans are approved by Caltrans, they will begin review of the City’s acquisition of the right of way from abutting property owners to ensure that Federal requirements have been met.
3. City Council Approval – Once steps one and two have been completed, The City Council will have to approve the project and authorize staff to obtain bids and return to Council to award the construction contract.
4. Construction – Construction is estimated to require approximately 18 months following the completion of step 3.