New Street Lights Among City Projects

With the city’s street light replacement project well underway, San Marino’s Public Works Director Dan Wall expects a variety of other projects to take off in the coming months.
City workers have gradually been replacing the bulbs in street lights as Southern California Edison has installed utility meters into the poles. Previously, San Marino’s street lights were unmetered and the city paid a flat fee for them. Now, the lights will use more energy-efficient bulbs that will be metered.
“Edison has been moving right along with us in getting their part done so our workers can do their part,” Wall said in a phone interview last week. “We will reduce our annual cost and electricity consumption, so it’s good for everyone.”
The project, which involves 112 street lights, will cost $550,000. Work started in November and is expected to wrap up mid-February, Wall said.
“We don’t want to disrupt the community during Christmas, so we’re taking about two weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s,” he said.
This won’t be the only project returning from a holiday hiatus. A complete resurfacing on Huntington Drive was put on hold this fall after business owners voiced concerns about how the work would affect the holiday shopping season.
That project — which will redo damaged sidewalks, gutters and curbs, and also grind and repave the street — is expected to resume work on Tuesday, Jan. 3 and also wrap up in February. It’s costing the city around $971,000.
On top of those items, the City Council also has asked Wall to handle a variety of other projects or research for the city.
The cost to renovate one of the two restrooms at Lacy Park is currently being evaluated, Wall said, but work isn’t expected to break ground until fall at the earliest.
“There’s a lot of activity between now and through the summer,” Wall said. “The construction window for this is going to be very long.”
This restroom will receive a visual refresh and also additions to make it compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act’s regulations. It will be made to more closely resemble the aesthetics of the other restroom, which is older.
“We’ll keep the older one’s exterior,” Wall said. “After this remodeling, we’ll go to the City Council to see about updating the interior of the older one.”
Wall also is working with Interim City Manager Cindy Collins to solicit donations to help fund a project to reconstruct a portion of the rose arbor, which is experiencing a significant amount of decay. He presented a several design options to the City Council in October.
That project already has $138,000 in funding, largely from a private donation, but estimates show that the construction could be between $300,000 and $700,000, depending on which design and materials are implemented.
The City Council had discussed the idea of having people donate toward the replacement in exchange for naming rights to portions of the new arbor.
“We’re also seeing if the design has a historical significance to it or if we can use some variance in it,” Wall added.
Bids from contractors will open for a traffic signal painting project on Dec. 19, Wall said. He expects to present that information at the Jan. 11 City Council meeting and formally award that project at that time.
A $150,000 project to remove uplifted sidewalk panels and replace them also was awarded by the City Council this week.
Looking toward the future, Wall, who is an engineer, plans to start designing renovations for numerous streets throughout San Marino to be implemented as the plans are completed. He initially planned to bid out the engineering but, after a discussion with the City Council about saving costs, decided to perform that task himself.
“It’ll be very similar to what we’re doing with Huntington Drive,” Wall said.

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