ESCONDIDO — The largest hurdle to getting the Citracado Parkway expansion underway is funding.
A section of the road is missing between Harmony Grove Village Parkway and Andreasen Drive.
Escondido was denied a federal transportation grant last year although Joyce Masterson, the city’s director of economic development and community relations is hopeful for this year’s round of funding.
“We’re very excited because Senator (Dianne) Feinstein has written a letter of support. We’re as optimistic as we can be,” said Masterson.
If the city receives funding, Masterson said the project can get underway.
“If we get the funding for it, we can really start getting the project going,” Masterson said. “We’re waiting to see if we’re the lucky ones that were selected to receive the funding for it.”
She said the response should come any day now.
Deborah Lundy, the city’s Real Property Manager, called the project necessary.
“Public interest and necessity requires the Citracado Parkway extension project which will complete the missing section on Citracado,” Lundy said.
While the city waits to hear back about the grant, City Council voted unanimously to begin proceedings for an eminent domain action on Wednesday. Councilman John Masson abstained because of past business with the property owners.
Eminent domain allows the city to buy the land at a fair market value.
The owners of the property, Pacific Harmony Grove LLC and Mission Valley Corporate Center have been in discussion with the city since 2012.
The property owners considered the city’s offer “far apart on the value of the land,” according to a staff report.
The owners have not countered the offer, which is why the city has begun the eminent domain action.
The project, once funded, will add a bridge over the Escondido Creek and add a curb, gutter, sidewalk and landscaped medians along the road.
Also, Citracado Parkway between West Valley Parkway and Avendia Del Diablo will be widened.
Councilman Ed Gallo said the road extension shouldn’t come as a surprise to the property owners.
“It’s been on the circulation element for 60 years,” Gallo said.
Masterson said there is no construction schedule yet.
The extension project’s Environmental Impact Report was completed in 2012 and last October, the city annexed the 30 acres needed to complete the project.
The land was formerly part of the County of San Diego, the Harmony Grove Volunteer Fire Protection Department and San Marcos Fire Protection District.
The extension will provide a direct link to planned developments like the Escondido Research and Technology Center and the Nordahl Road Sprinter Transit Station.