Carlsbad gears up for trio of projects

Carlsbad gears up for trio of projects
The city of Carlsbad has several options to promote beach access along Ocean Street, although no decision will be made for several months. Photo by Steve Puterski

CARLSBAD — A trio of improvement projects from Ocean Street through Terramar may come to a head in about 19 months.

Although plans are still in the concept stages, Assistant City Manager Gary Barberio reported last week to the City Council the timeline for the three projects.

Barberio, along with Parks and Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine, said the three projects include beach access along Ocean Street and road improvements in the Terramar area and the intersection of Tamarack Street and Carlsbad Boulevard.

The current timeline, meanwhile, has all three improvements slated to run from October 2017 through June 2018.

Barberio and Hazeltine told the council they must decide whether to proceed with all three simultaneously or stagger the work.

As of now, each project is in the concept design phase, which has sought, and is continuing to gather, community feedback, especially from the residents that live in those areas.

The Ocean Street beach project has improving stairway access, lighting at its heart, Hazeltine reported.

There are seven access points, he added, all of which need attention. The stairs are breaking down and are in need of upgrades. In addition, one possibility is to add small, low-level lighting about one foot above each step to provide safer walking at night.

The totems, meanwhile, are a concept to bring attention to each entrance, as they are currently difficult to find, Hazeltine said. The totems, which have received mixed feedback, would be painted to represent attractions of the city, consisting of themes such as the beach, surfing and the Flower Fields, to name a few.

Projects in Terramar and Tamarack, meanwhile, are similar in scope as each consists of major roadway upgrades to improve traffic flow and pedestrian and cyclist safety.

However, the Terramar project also includes a city-state partnership to revamp beach access and possibly adding benches and shade structures.

“The residents don’t want an over-developed bluff area,” Barberio said. “We want to have the smallest footprint.”

As for the cost, the total has not been defined due to the various options available to the council. However, Barberio and Hazeltine reported the city has budgeted cost estimates for each project.

Terramar’s budget is $6 million from the Capital Improvement Project fund; Ocean Street has $2.6 million in funds, while Tamarack has $1 million in CIP funding and $1.25 million in grants from the San Diego Area of Governments (SANDAG).

The city’s outreach efforts, meanwhile, continue as several workshops open to the public are scheduled. In addition to outreach, the city will continue with construction designs and bid preparation through October.

The bid selection and award is expected to last from October through August 2017, and then construction is scheduled for the following month, unless the council opts to stagger the projects.

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