Long Beach to undergo largest street repair project in more than 10 years
2010-03-24 · By Editor
Advance planning and the aggressive pursuit of Federal Stimulus Funds are enabling the City of Long Beach to repair the largest amount of streets in more than a decade.
In total, the project will repair 11.2 miles along 10 major arterial streets throughout the City of Long Beach. Four contracts have already been awarded; contracts to repair six additional arterial streets will go before the City Council on Tuesday night.
These street repairs are in addition to the 113 residential streets that the City of Long Beach repaired in 2008 and 2009 using funds from California Proposition 1B, the $19.925 billion transportation bond measure approved in 2006.
A combination of factors positioned the City of Long Beach to quickly put to bid $14.383 million in Federal Stimulus Funds via the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act:
- The City Engineering Bureau had developed plans and designs for street repairs and other infrastructure improvements when Measure I, the infrastructure parcel tax, was being prepared for the November 2008 ballot. The ballot measure failed, but left the City extremely well positioned to seek funding approval under ARRA, which required projects to be “shovel-ready” to receive funding.
- Due to the status of the economy over the summer, the bids for the four planned ARRA-funding street construction projects came in so low that the City was able to use the excess funding to pay for six additional street repairs without losing any ARRA savings.
- Postponing needed street repairs would have made them more expensive in the long term, especially because many other funding sources are extremely tight.
- This street work will dramatically improve the quality of the city’s arterial streets, raising the percentage of arterial streets rated as “good’ or better from 61% to 72%.
“Hard work pays off, and the City’s due diligence in planning these projects was able to realize a double dividend,” said Joe Magaddino, Chair of the Economics Department at California State University, Long Beach. “On the one hand, City staff did a lot of up-front work to plan these projects without a guaranteed funding source and, on the other hand, the City is clearly able to repair more streets than anticipated due to the low bids on these repairs.”
“Making infrastructure improvements will help attract and retain businesses, which are all extremely important for the future economic growth and well-being of our City,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “This is the largest street repair project in Long Beach in more than a decade. We’re improving our roads, fixing potholes and improving surface drainage without impacting the City’s General Fund.”
“Without this funding, these infrastructure improvements would at best be delayed, and, at worst, simply not get done in the foreseeable future,” said Mark Christoffels, City Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works. “The City very much appreciates the millions of dollars in state and federal resources that our State and Federal delegation fought for and made available for these projects.”
Crews will repave city streets with environmentally friendly rubberized asphalt, which includes old rubber tires and is more effective at preventing cracking than traditional surfaces. Preventing cracking, along with improving drainage, is important as water that seeps into the subsurface of a street creates cavities upon evaporation, causing potholes.
In addition, the construction will include reconstructing handicap access to ramps to meet current federal ADA guidelines.
ARRA-funded street improvements. Total cost: $14,383,000
- Spring Street from Clark Avenue to the East City Limit
- Harding Street from DeForest Avenue to Atlantic Avenue
- California Avenue from Harding Street to Artesia Boulevard
- Carson Street from Long Beach Boulevard to Atlantic Avenue
Cost for first four streets – $4,917,000
- Colorado Street from Los Altos Avenue to Bellflower Boulevard
- Pacific Avenue from Ocean Boulevard to 7th Street
- Los Coyotes Diagonal from Outer Traffic Circle to Studebaker
- Broadway from Livingston Drive to Bayshore Avenue
- Wardlow Road from Clark Avenue to Woodruff Avenue
- Atlantic Avenue from San Antonio Drive to 52nd Street
Cost for additional six streets – $9,466,000