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Newhall street faces spruce-up

Posted: March 12, 2008 12:15 a.m.
Updated: May 13, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Construction could begin as early as July to transform Newhall's Main Street into a historic old town, visitor-friendly boulevard.

Consultants with Pacific Coast Land Design unveiled their conceptual plans at a community meeting Monday night to give Main Street a landscaping makeover intended to reflect Newhall's natural environment and its early Hollywood-inspired history.

"(Newhall) has good energy, it's fun, it's safe, it's interesting," said Chris Roberts, owner of the consultant firm. "What this has over a shopping mall is that this place has real history, it has a beautiful outdoor environment ... and we're taking all this energy and we're bringing it downtown."

The "streetscaping" is part of the city's effort to spruce up downtown Newhall to draw more visitors to the aging area.

The design encompasses 12 blocks of Main Street between Lyons Avenue and Fifth Street. A traffic circle with no street light would be constructed at the intersection of 5th Street and Main Street.

Shade trees and "low and scrubby" plants like those found in nearby Newhall Creek would line Main Street.
The plan includes at least six "nodes" - or outlets in the walkway - for pedestrians to sit on benches with shade trees and misters overhead.

The city also plans to bring in street lamps and poles that emulate hitching posts.

"Our goal is to create a streetscape that honors the city's history," Roberts said.

The city plans to haul in boulders from Newhall Creek to scatter throughout the planters. Some of the boulders will hold plaques that explain bits and pieces of Newhall's past.

The first step in the construction will be the installation of a new drainage system that runs the length of Main Street.

Business owners told city engineers Monday that construction work for the new drain could have a devastating impact on businesses, especially if the work continues throughout the holiday season.
Assistant City Engineer Chris Price said, however, that because the work will be done in sections, construction may only take about one week in front of each business.

Though he could not give a specific timeline, Price said that once the drains are in, the city would likely begin the landscaping on the block of Main Street between Market Street and Sixth Street. The rest of Main Street would soon follow, he said.


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