SAN MARCOS — The city of San Marcos is looking to hear from you before officially “digging in” with the San Marcos Creek project. Construction is slated to begin in January 2020 on the 214-acre project.
However, the city is reaching out to the public with several meetings and informational sessions during the pre-construction phase.
“We are meeting one-on-one with local businesses,” San Marcos Communications Manager Robin Rockey said. “We gave out information at the Harvest Festival. We posted updates on our social media.”
Recently 50 people attended the first public session with city leaders, armed with a list of questions and potential problems.
San Marcos resident Barbara Perry wanted to express concerns about the traffic. “Right now, it’s congested,” she says. “And that’s with everything open but when they close down Vera Cruz and Bent, it’s going to destroy it, you can’t get through it,” Perry said.
At the initial outreach session, groups were broken up by concern: noise, traffic, safety, access, environment and communication.
Project manager and San Marcos principal civil engineer Isaac Etchamendy estimates it will be difficult to predict all of the problems, especially when disrupting the environment and area by this magnitude.
“I do think that getting the input from the people and knowing what their concerns are will help us address it in construction,” Etchamendy said.
The project will address a flooding problem that has been plaguing the area for years by raising roadways and bridges over the creek at Bent Avenue and Via Vera Cruz. Traffic problems will be eased along Discovery Street when it’s widened from two lane to four lanes. The city will add another park and trail to its existing 35 parks and 36 trails. Plus, there will be 1.5 miles of restored and preserved creek habitat. In fact, an endangered species, the least Bell’s vireo bird must remain protected during the process.
The construction project, headed by 4Leaf Construction Management and SEMA, is estimated to take at least two years. The budget for the entire development is $104 million with $61.5 million dedicated to construction alone.
“Because we are building it a piece at a time and in various components, people can probably expect nine months to a year of getting impacted by construction that will be right up against them,” Etchamendy said. He added leaders have yet to determine how traffic will be re-routed n congested area.
The city hopes to send out text alerts during traffic delays. Text SMCreek to 484848. Additionally, a project hotline where comments are appreciated, and updates are given can be found at 877-SMCREEK.
“Whether it’s good, bad or ugly, we need to hear it all,” Etchamendy said. “I was very glad to see a good turnout. We heard a lot of good things and we also want to hear what’s your worst fear.”
Stephanie Stang lives in San Elijo Hills, a community of San Marcos, CA and covers her city and surrounding areas. She has 15 plus years of award-winning news experience, namely in television and earned her B.A. from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN where she started as a news director for WGRE-FM. She’s interviewed or met every living president and first lady. You can also find her working, working-out and volunteering at the YMCA of San Diego County in Encinitas. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org