Mill St. realignment on track
Recent updates about city projects have received positive responses from many Grass Valley residents. So at the request of several of you, here is an update on the Mill Street project.
As you are likely aware, Mill Street is an important entryway to historic downtown Grass Valley and has long been identified as needing to be upgraded. In October 1999, the city began a major project to rehabilitate the three-fifths-of-a-mile section of Mill Street between French Avenue and Neal Street.
The city distributed a request for proposals for Mill Street design services and selected Sylvester Engineering Inc., a local engineering firm, to perform this work. This complex project has required a cooperative need to work with the residents, businesses, the Grass Valley Downtown Association and the various utility companies on improvement design, aesthetics, traffic control, phasing and utility-coordination issues.
The first phase, or “wet utility” portion, of the project, which included replacing existing and installing new water, sewer and storm drain facilities, was completed in 2001. This construction work was performed by Hansen Brothers Inc., a local construction firm, at a cost of $713,000.
The second phase, or “undergrounding” portion, of the project, which includes trenching and burying electrical, telephone and cable utilities, is now under way. This construction work is being performed through a joint effort between the city, through its contractor, Manuel Bros. Inc. (also a local construction firm) and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). This project should be substantially complete by the end of this year.
Note that the actual removal of all overhead lines and existing utility poles will occur at the end of the project’s final phase. The cost of this second phase is about $1.4 million, most of which is provided by the California Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) Rule 20A funds.
The third and final phase of this project will include a new roadway; installing curb, gutter and sidewalk on both sides of the road; decorative streetlight poles and, depending upon funding, possibly other amenities (i.e. rock walls). The final phase is expected to be bid this winter, with construction beginning in spring.
Detouring traffic during construction times will continue until the project is complete. The understanding and cooperation of the residents of this area is recognized and very much appreciated.
We are aware of the inconvenience to motorists and homeowners alike and again ask for your patience and care, especially on narrow French Avenue, where small children play.
When completed, Mill Street will be a befitting, historical entryway to Grass Valley, with pedestrian walkways on both sides. The street alignment and intersection of Chapel with Mill will be reconfigured to improve traffic safety. Parking and drainage will be better defined and handled.
The total cost of the three phases of this project is expected to approach $3 million. Funding sources include the Grass Valley Redevelopment Agency, gas tax and the PUC’s Rule 20A Underground program, as well as the city’s Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds.
As you can see, this project represents another major investment in Grass Valley’s infrastructure and its downtown area.
I hope this answers some of your questions. Please contact the city’s Public Works and Engineering Department at 274-4350 for more information.
Linda Stevens is the mayor of Grass Valley
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