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Laurene Weste: City’s $25M capital projects looking good

Live from City Hall

Posted: October 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.

This year, the Santa Clarita City Council allocated $25 million for capital improvement projects that add value to the community, including landscaping, traffic improvements and public art.

These projects are vital for creating a healthy city, in which residents love to live and recreate, and where businesses succeed. 

The following is a brief overview of the city’s capital improvement projects that are currently under way or planned for the upcoming fiscal year. Each is designed to enhance the quality of life for Santa Clarita residents and businesses.

Old Town Newhall
The city’s efforts include developing new shopping, dining and nightlife venues, and adding public-improvement projects that are representative of Newhall’s history and character.

The Old Town Newhall Library is currently under construction. The 30,000-square-foot facility is set to open in mid-2012, and will serve as an iconic gateway to Old Town Newhall.

The city and its partners are currently working on a proposed Newhall Avenue roundabout, at the southern entrance of Old Town Newhall.

The modern roundabout will allow for better traffic flow at the intersections of Fifth Street, Newhall Avenue and Main Street.

The Santa Clarita City Council and the Redevelopment Agency, in partnership with the Newhall Redevelopment Committee and the Old Town Newhall Association, are committed to revitalizing Old Town Newhall to support existing business while also attracting new companies.

New businesses, including Fresh, The Poached Pair, B.dry, Cake Goodness, Pulchella Winery and Tresor Spa, recently joined existing Old Town Newhall favorites, making the area a distinctively different point of interest in Santa Clarita.

Expansion of lots and lanes
The city will soon be expanding its McBean Regional Transit Center with a new park-and-ride facility.

This includes adding 200 to 300 parking spaces for public transportation users, as well as bicycle lockers, a passenger drop-off area, bus layover pads, a commuter passenger platform, paving, lighting and a pedestrian link to the existing McBean Regional Transit Center and adjacent businesses. The project is part of the city’s commitment to creating alternative transportation options for residents.

An additional 95 parking spaces will soon be added to the Newhall Metrolink station near the Newhall Community Center.
The project is set to begin in fall 2011, and will include a new outdoor landscaped recreation area adjacent to the popular Newhall Community Center.

The city is also adding bike trails along Centre Pointe Parkway, increasing opportunities for residents to safely bike to work.

Street Overlay Program
Transportation throughout the community is a hot topic for residents and business owners. The city understands safe and efficient travel is always a priority and has allocated $8 million in the 2011 to 2012 fiscal year budget to fund roadway improvements throughout the city of Santa Clarita.

Roadway beautification
This year, two beautification projects are being funded by the city; including one at Interstate 5 at Lyons Avenue — one of Santa Clarita’s most highly used entrances.

This beautification effort includes construction of landscaping east of the interstate, and in line with recent improvements on Lyons Avenue and Magic Mountain Parkway at Interstate 5.

The city and county are designing improvements for the respective jurisdictions to complement one another.

The city will also begin a multiyear Railroad Avenue beautification project, which will include a raised landscape median north of Via Princessa to 14th Street.

The start of this project includes landscaping, irrigation and stamped concrete, helping to beautify this area. For those who travel Soledad Canyon, the 4-mile, water-conserving landscape project currently under way there is expected to be completed early next year.

The city’s 2011-12 budget reflects the city’s ability to stay true to the day-to-day business practices and values that make Santa Clarita a special place for doing business, raising a family and enjoying a superior quality of life.  

Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at


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