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March 9, 2017

Community Update by Pat Milos
Community Development Director

The City has several Public Works related projects of significance that are currently under way. These are the Vista Chino Street Improvements Project, the Date Palm Bridge over the Whitewater River Project, the City Wide Striping Project and Whitewater Neighborhood Street Improvements. Once completed, these upgrades will improve the safety, efficiency and comfort of motorists and pedestrians.

The Vista Chino Street Improvement Project commenced the 1st week of the year in the northern portion of the City. The contractor on the project is recycling and rehabilitating the pavement, constructing drainage improvements, sidewalks, ADA ramps and installing new traffic striping. The total project costs are estimated to be $3.6 million. Funding for the project includes a $1 million grant from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Additional funding is from Gas Tax, Measure A, and Assessment Districts.

Vista Chino is one of the primary transportation corridors in the area and, as such the corridor is relied upon by the public and others for commerce, residential, regional circulation and other uses. When this project is completed, the community will enjoy a newly repaved two mile stretch of roadway from the west City limits at the Whitewater River to Date Palm Drive.

To date, the contractor on the project has base paved and concreted all the outside lanes (24’ closest to the curbs) on the north and south sides of the street from Landau Blvd. to Date Palm Drive. Next week the contractor is planning to “flip the traffic” to the newly base paved outside lanes and work on the interior lanes from Landau Blvd. to Date Palm Drive. This work will take approximately four weeks with the interior concrete work and base paving being completed.

By mid-April, the contractor should be working on the western portion of Vista Chino, from the west City limits at the Whitewater River to Landau Blvd. The contractor is expected to follow the same program as on the east portion of Vista Chino, with removal and restoration of the outside lanes first then, when those lanes are completed, the Contractor will again “flip traffic” and move their work into the interior lanes. Once all base paving and concrete work are completed in mid-May, the Contractor will take 6 to 7 days to apply the “cap” (wearing course, which in this case will be a rubberized product) on the entire project which will provide a smooth and quiet ride for motorists. Subsequent to this work the striping, crosswalk and legend marking will take place during graveyard hours. Final completion of this project is scheduled for June.

Date Palm Bridge over the Whitewater River Project is now being solicited for construction bids. Bids will be publically opened for this approximately $18 million project on March 21, 2017 at City Hall. The contractor selected for the project will be required to widen the bridge width to accommodate 6 lanes of vehicle traffic, rehabilitate the existing bridge deck, replace deficient portions of the existing structure, add sidewalks, matching medians, railings and improve and widen approaches from Gerald Ford Drive to Perez Road.

The Date Palm Bridge, built in 1981, is a four-lane bridge, approximately 757 feet long and 56 feet wide. The purpose of this project is to provide congestion relief in order to improve both regional and local traffic flow, as well as improve the structural safety and operation of the bridge. Included in the widening of the bridge will be sidewalks and bicycle lanes and an undercrossing that will accommodate the regional bike and NEV path when constructed.

Additional improvements will include the construction of scour countermeasures within the Whitewater River Channel for the existing and new pier foundations, channel slope protection, repairs to the cracks in the concrete girders, pier walls, installation of a new bridge deck with an epoxy type injection, retrofit of the existing girders and the installation of cable restrainers for stabilization of the bridge during a seismic events.

The Project cost is estimated to be $18.0 million and is 97% funded by a Federal Highway Administration Grant (FHWA) and a Coachella Association of Governments (CVAG) regional share funding, leaving the City’s portion at approximately $700,000.

Construction is expected to commence in May or June of this year and will be completed within 18 months. During this construction period a northbound and southbound lane of traffic will always be open for the driving public as well as a pedestrian crossing.

A Citywide Arterial Striping and Pavement Marking contract was approved by the City Council in February of 2017 and work will be starting in a few weeks. Cal-Stripe, Inc. will provide arterial street striping, crosswalk and pavement marking throughout the City. This year’s contract will replace long lines (centerlines, lane lines, shoulder lines) on various arterial streets throughout the City and crosswalks and legend marking at various locations. Included in the work will be the removal of old striping that does not conform to current codes. Most drivers will not be impacted by the work as a majority of the work will be completed between the hours of 10:00 pm and 5:00 am. All streets will remain open to traffic with temporary lane closures as needed.

The striping work will completed as a moving operation. Marking material is applied to the pavement through equipment attached to the work trucks driving along the street; the vehicles also have arrow boards and warning lights informing drivers to change lanes and/or slow down. Once completed City motorist will have new pavement markings to reference, thus enhancing driving safety within the City.

The Whitewater Neighborhood Street Improvements Project is currently out to bid. Bids from contractors for the Whitewater Neighborhood Street Improvements are due at City Hall on Tuesday, March 14th by 2:00 PM.

This Project will provide for the total rehabilitation of the pavement on the residential streets generally located south of Ramon Road, north of Corral Road, between Date Palm Drive and Cathedral Canyon Drive. The specific streets planned for improvement are Canyon Vista Road, Monte Vista Road, Aurora Vista Road, Desert Vista Road, Cielo Vista Road, Rancho Vista Road and Via Olivera. Included in this project are four (4) alleys that intersect the aforementioned streets within the same location.

The awarded contractor will be required to remove and replace approximately 291,000 square feet of asphalt in this project. Staff anticipates this project will be completed before the end of June 2017. This Project is estimated at $750,000 and will be funded via Community Block Grant Development Funds and Assessment District Funds.

Overall the City has worked diligently to make the construction traffic as smooth as possible on the projects that have started and has made a few adjustments during the construction to make travel as expedient as possible.

We do appreciate the patience of the motorists during construction and assure you that your safety as well as the safety of the construction workers is our primary focus.

We realize that we have created some short term inconveniences, but we are confident that the resulting improvement in the road surface will have been worth it.

Thank you for your patience as we strive to move the City forward.

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