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April 2, 2020

Community Update

by John A. Corella, P.E. – Director of Engineering/Public Works

Since my last update, significant changes in how we are operating daily have occurred due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but please be assured that construction and project planning related to transportation, public works, medical and housing are continuing per the Federal, State and Local Orders.

Over the past few weeks, I have received several phone calls from constituents regarding the ongoing construction projects around the City and that the “Stay at Home” orders are not being followed. Just for clarification, the Governor’s order on March 19, 2020 and reinforced by the Governor at today’s press conference, construction projects can continue unless a County specifically issues a shutdown order for construction projects.  To date we have not received an order such as this.

With respect to the above, your City’s Engineering Staff will continue working on the current projects under construction and are accelerating the planning of our next fiscal year’s projects. Why accelerate plans?  Our goal is that once the Pandemic is over and our lives get back to normal, we will do our part in getting the Coachella Valley back to humming along once again. 

With all the above stated, let’s look at the status of key Projects that we reviewed in the last Community Update:

Roadwork and Paving

Phase 6 of the City’s Pavement Management Program (Project) is nearly complete.  All that is left to do on the below listed $2,068,000 Project is cleanup, safety signage, striping and red curb painting:   This paving and roadway work Project, completed by Hardy & Harper, Inc. (Contractor) to complete this work as part of the overall Project cost.  As a reminder the four areas where work will be completed are:   

• The West Whitewater Neighborhood Street Improvements.  This Project repaved Shifting Sands, Whispering Palms Trail and Sky Blue Water Trail from Ramon Road to Mission Indian Trail.

• South Panorama Neighborhood Street Improvements.  This Project repaved Avenida La Paloma, Avenida La Gaviota and Whispering Palms Trail from Ramon Road north to Baristo Road and Baristo Road from Landau to Whispering Palms Trail.

• Avenida Ximino Neighborhood Street Improvements.  This Project repaved and fix drainage on portions of Vega Road, Avenida Ximino, Susan Drive, Paulina Avenue, Walker Street, Joaquine Way and Perlita Road. 

• Avenida Maravilla (La Pasada) Street Improvements.  This Project, completed today, paving on Avenida Maravilla from Vista Chino to the northerly limits of Avenida Maravilla in the La Pasada Community.

We appreciate the cooperation the residents that live on the above area streets gave our contractor by moving cars and putting up with the inconveniences associated with the work.

The Ofelia Bringas Memorial Bridge Project (Project)

The Ofelia Brings Memorial Bridge (formerly The Cathedral Canyon Bridge) Project construction contract has been approved!  After weeks of waiting for Cal Trans’ final approvals, at the March 25, 2020 the City Council approved a $19,176,882.00 construction contract to Ames Construction, Inc. (Ames).  All totaled with contingencies the City Council approved $21,094,570.20 in Project funding for this construction phase that included a 10% contingency, tribal monitoring and other construction related support services. 

Ames is listed as a top 100 Heavy Civil and Industrial contractor in the United States, with significant past experience completing, and not limited to, bridge and interchange projects, power plants, dams and reservoirs, freeways and mines.  The Project is scheduled to start this upcoming mid-June and scheduled to be completed within 2 years.  Currently, Engineering Staff is waiting for the return of the contract, surety and insurance documents in anticipation of holding a preconstruction meeting to kick off the Project.  The onsite construction Project Management firm for the Project is TY Lin International, Inc., which was selected and approved by the City Council this past summer of 2019. 

As mentioned in my past update, this overall $26,721,250 Project will cost the City $766,232 in participation funding with the Federal Highway Bridge Program (HBP) Grant and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) picking up the other portions.

Staff and Work During the COVID -19 Pandemic

The City is committed to serving the needs of its residents.  The Engineering, Public Works and Facilities Departments have changed how we are doing business, but not what we are providing.  Residents should not see a change in the essential services that we provide on a day-to-day basis.  The roadways, traffic signals and bridges are still being maintained, facilities such as our fire stations and police facilities, are in excellent operational order and engineering is providing essential support services.  Many employees in these Departments are working remotely, which the average caller and or/emailer would not notice.  The employees that do have to report to City facilities for work, have incorporated all the prescribed safety guidelines outlined by the various health and safety organizations during this COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Please practice “Social Distancing” and “Stay at Home.” Even though there is less traffic on the roads right now, please drive within the speed limits and be safe.

If you have any questions regarding this Community Update and the Projects discussed, please call me, John A. Corella, P.E. at 760-770-0327 or email me at JCorella@cathedralcity.gov .

NEWS

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EVENTS

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For Questions or Comments, Contact Chris Parman, Communications and Events Manager
cparman@cathedralcity.gov