By Rebecca Canales Founder and CEO,
Whittier 360 News Network
September 12, 2023
WHITTIER, CA — In a significant move for the Whittier community, the City Council has unanimously approved the long-awaited Palm Avenue Improvement Project. Spanning from Beverly Boulevard to Whittier Boulevard, the project marks an ambitious effort to upgrade utility systems and road conditions in one of the city's central arteries. The vote signals a united front among city leaders to invest in Whittier's future and to provide residents with safer, more reliable infrastructure.
A Journey from Shelving to Unanimous Approval
Initially conceptualized in April 2016, the Palm Avenue Improvement Project faced a roadblock due to insufficient funding. The tides turned in May 2022 when the City Council adopted a resolution approving the use of Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account (RMRA) or SB-1 Funds. A unanimous vote last night confirms that the project now has the political and financial backing needed to progress.
Unpacking the Project: Key Components
The project aims to modernize the dated utility infrastructure and roadway conditions that have been largely untouched since the 1930s. Residents can expect:
Upgraded water and sewer mains to address deficiencies.
Replacement of service laterals and tie-ins to enhance utility delivery.
Full pavement reconstruction, including curb, gutter, and driveway approaches.
Upgrading curb ramps to meet current ADA standards.
The Engineer's Estimate for construction stands at $9.8 million, with work expected to commence in late 2023.
The Environmental and Fiscal Footprint
The project has been declared categorically exempt under Section 15301, Class 1 – Existing Facilities, of the California Environmental Quality Act. This classification minimizes the need for extensive environmental reviews. As for the fiscal side, costs have been covered primarily through RMRA or SB-1 Funds, mitigating additional financial burdens.
Aligning with Strategic Goals
The Palm Avenue Improvement Project aligns seamlessly with the city's strategic planning goals, including public safety, quality of life, and transparent governance. Documents pertaining to the project, such as plans and specifications, are publicly accessible at the Mayor's Office and the Public Works Department, underscoring the city's commitment to transparency.
Next Steps and Community Involvement
With the City Council's approval, the project will advance into its bidding phase, opening doors for contractors to submit proposals. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2023. Residents are encouraged to stay informed and engaged by reviewing project details available at city offices.
As we move closer to seeing shovels in the ground, the unanimous approval of the Palm Avenue Improvement Project paints a vivid picture of a community united in the quest for progress. Stay tuned for more updates as this pivotal project unfolds.