ENCINITAS — Sidewalks are coming to one of the last portions of Coast Highway 101 in downtown Encinitas without them.
The City Council voted unanimously without discussion on Nov. 29 to give staff the green light to go out to bid for a project that would construct nearly 1,000 feet of sidewalk along the east side of South Coast Highway 101 between Cardiff Classic Auto Sales and the pedestrian rail undercrossing at Santa Fe Drive.
There is currently a small strip of sidewalk between the two points, but a city staff report points out that there are limited pedestrian improvements along the east side of South Coast Highway 101 between The Lumberyard and the Swami’s undercrossing. The project would expand the sidewalk as well as install landscaping, pedestrian ramps, new diagonal and parallel parking and handicap parking at each end of the project.
Part of an effort ongoing since 2005 known as the second phase of the Downtown Streetscape project, the project would essentially allow for a pedestrian to walk from one end of downtown to the other along the east side of the main drag.
In 2016, the city redesigned the remaining segment of the project after collaborating with downtown property owners and tenants fronting the project area.
The project’s budget is $628,000, and the council’s approval Nov. 29 authorizes city staff to request proposals and start construction in early 2018 if they find a bid lower than the authorized amount. Otherwise, the council would have to approve any increase.