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Major Santa Monica Streets to Get Makeovers  


By Jorge Casuso

March 29, 2012 -- The City Council on Tuesday paved the way for two projects that will improve streets leading to the Santa Monica Freeway.

The big-ticket item, approved on consent, was a $4 million construction contract with All American Asphalt for work to enhance the streetscape on 20th Street and Cloverfield Boulevard between the Pico Boulevard and the Freeway.

The proposed improvements include "a full depth replacement of the street section, street and pedestrian lighting, landscaping, sidewalk accessibility modifications, and bicycle/automobile lane markings known as 'sharrows'," according to City officials. 

The new streetscape will maintain the existing street and parking configuration, but the existing street trees will be replaced by three new tree species that "provide canopy, color, and promote biodiversity," staff said.

Black & Veatch was hired to provide construction management services in the amount of $385,670.

The council also voted on consent to apply for a $300,000 Caltrans grant to conduct public outreach and draft a conceptual streetscape design for the two-mile stretch of Lincoln Boulevard from Wilshire Boulevard to the south City limit. 

"The existing public realm of this major thoroughfare is visually cluttered, unattractive, devoid of coordinated streetscape or landscaping and does not exemplify the investment or level of design reflected in other commercial boulevards in Santa Monica," staff wrote in its report.

Lincoln Boulevard enhancements are "envisioned and deemed a high priority" in the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), which seeks to "improve mobility and access, active transportation, livability and economic utility through strategic streetscape enhancements," according to staff.

"The LUCE envisions Lincoln Boulevard as a street that transitions over time from a vehicle-priority boulevard that acts as a barrier into a vibrant boulevard that connects neighborhoods to the east and west," staff wrote.

The proposed grant would "generate a community-based concept for enhanced pedestrian-orientation, activity centers that showcase quality design standards and a public realm improved with increased landscaping, trees, and street furniture, while still maintaining its role as a functional regional roadway," staff said.

If awarded, the City must contribute in-kind services of 2.5 percent and matching funds of 7.5 percent of the total grant amount up to $22,500.


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