Caltrans Grants $900,000 to Repair City’s Worst Intersection

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Caltrans Grants $900,000 to Repair City’s Worst IntersectionProject paves way for “Armory Park,” for which City will seek $1.82 million State grant

Councilmember Robert Garcia announced Tuesday that a $900,000 grant from Caltrans will fund major traffic repairs and mitigation measures at the City’s most dangerous intersection, removing the biggest obstacle to the long-envisioned creation of a park at that location.

“This is a historic day, not just for the St Anthony and Alamitos Beach neighborhoods, but for the entire City” said Councilmember Garcia, who has pushed for the park to be built since taking office two years ago. “This will totally transform this important gateway to downtown.”

The 3-way intersection of 7th Street, Martin Luther King Blvd, and Alamitos Av has long been recognized as the most dangerous in the City, and the Saint Anthony and Alamitos Beach neighborhoods have long lacked park space. A proposed park for the site – often referred to as “Armory Park” due to its proximity the United States Armory building there – has been hampered by the traffic issues. The Caltrans grant will enable the City to address those issues, and a Proposition 84 grant – the same fund used to plan and build the new Craftsman Village and Orizaba parks – is expected to provide the funding for the park’s actual construction.

Tuesday’s announcement of the Caltrans grant award and State Park grant application took place in the new sculpture garden of the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM), which is adjacent to the proposed park location. Also present were Brian Ulazsewski, an Alamitos Beach resident and local architect who has been the park’s primary advocate for the last years, Kraig Kojian of Downtown Long Beach Associates (which has long supported the park project), City staffers from Public Works and the Parks and Recreation Department, representatives of the Museum of Latin American Art, which is right across the street, and PIEAM, and members of local community organizations.

Five community meetings to discuss the proposed park plans will be held during May and June. The times and locations for the Armory Public Meetings.

“This park is the perfect compliment to MOLAA, PIEAM, and the St Anthony campus,” said Garcia. “What a historic day for Long Beach.”

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