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City continues work towards plan to repave, widen San Juan Avenue


Principal Civil Engineer Hunter Young and city Operations Manager Mary Poole share an update with residents on Aug. 18, 2022. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
Several senior city staff members last week during a community meeting outlined a plan to use a multi-million dollar grant to improve San Juan Avenue.

During an Aug. 18 meeting for the Park Oaks Neighborhood Association (PONA), Principal Civil Engineer Hunter Young said the city’s longterm goal is to repave San Juan Avenue from Madison Avenue to Greenback Lane. The project is aimed at creating bicycle lanes, better lighting, and safer pedestrian access, Young said.

The project is broken down in two phases. Phase One extends from Madison Ave to Spicer Drive, with the first portion of that, Phase 1a, extending from Madison Avenue to Chesline Drive, Young said.

The first phase is projected to cost $2-3 million, an amount Young said will not go as far as it sounds: “By the time we buy the property, by the time we take the result, by the time we build retaining walls and so on, it all adds up.”

The project includes widening the roadway, and Young said the city is negotiating with about 12 individual property owners to acquire about three to four feet of frontage property along the planned route.

The majority of funds for the project will come from a Sacramento Area Council of Governments grant, with additional contributions coming from the city.

Although Young said the first part of Phase One is already funded, the start of the project is still more than a year out.

“Because it’s grant funded, we have to operate in harmony with a lot of different federal requirements,” Young said. “So it’s nothing that the city is able to just simply go build. It’s not fast track and especially when you’re trying to procure property from various owners, that always has the potential to kind of stall out or take longer than it needs to.”

In addition to property owners, Young said the city is also working with utility companies such as SMUD to add street lights to existing utility poles.

Young said the city mailed announcements to residents within 500 feet of San Juan Avenue and invited the public to provide input on the conceptual design.

Citrus Heights undertook a feasibility study and included pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the grant proposal to increase the city’s chances of getting the competitive grant request approved. Operations Manager Mary Poole said the presence of Advent Lutheran Church and Sunrise Christian Food Ministry along San Juan Avenue helped put Citrus Heights’ proposal ahead of requests for grant money from other governmental entities.

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