At the December 5 City Council Meeting, City Council Members will review designs for the West Grand Avenue Streetscape Project and discuss the next steps in the process. Residents are encouraged to join the 6 p.m. meeting in person in the Council Chambers at City Hall or watch online at SLO-Span.org.
“West Grand Avenue is a foundational piece of Grover Beach, and it is exciting to see our planned street improvements that prioritize pedestrian and bicycle safety come to life,” said Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee. “The West Grand Avenue Streetscape Project will significantly enhance our main commercial corridor and expand our economic development opportunities. When the project is complete, our residents and visitors will be able to more easily access our local businesses as they travel to and from the beach.”
In June, the City Council approved contractor BKF Engineering to begin designing the West Grand Avenue streetscape. Since then, BKF Engineering has developed 30% of the design plans for the City Council to consider.
The proposed design includes corner bulb outs that extend the sidewalk into the street to provide pedestrian visibility on busy corners. The design also eliminates the pedestrian crosswalks at 5th Street and 7th Street to encourage pedestrians to use the safer crosswalks at 4th Street and 6th Street. 6th Street will have a pedestrian beacon, similar to the one already installed at 3rd Street.
The City Council will also be reviewing median landscaping, sidewalk planters and decorative crosswalk options, including lithocrete, stamped concrete, pavers set in concrete or stamped thermoplastic on asphalt. The City Council will decide which of these options is the most feasible based on installation cost, lifecycle, resistance to tire and oil marks and ease of patching. Council Members will provide direction for the final design phase, which will be brought back to the Council in Spring 2023. Construction is expected to start late Summer 2023 and last between six and eight months.
In August 2022, the City was awarded a $1.5 million Community Betterment Grant from San Luis Obispo Council of Governments to partially fund the West Grand Avenue Streetscape Project. This grant is awarded to local transportation projects that improve safety, mobility, access and public health. Out of the nine recipients, the City of Grover Beach received the most money as the project improves safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists while promoting the development of affordable housing and businesses on West Grand Avenue. The remainder of this project will be funded by the Capital Improvement Program.
“We are incredibly proud to be reaching this milestone for West Grand Avenue,” commented Grover Beach Public Works Director Greg Ray. “I would like to thank BFK Engineering for their continued collaboration on these designs. These infrastructure improvements promote safety and provide the foundation for further business and housing development.”
Redesigning West Grand Avenue also provides an opportunity to make this street a hub for new multifamily housing and commercial development. In April, the Grover Beach City Council reviewed a potential mixed-use development project at 402 West Grand Avenue. The proposed project includes 37 housing units and retail space on the ground-level. The development process for this project is almost completed with final approval expected in early 2023.
The Capital Improvement Program also reserves funding for additional improvements to West Grand Avenue from 11th Street to Oak Park Boulevard that the City plans to start in 2024.
The meeting materials for December 5 are available on the City of Grover Beach website.