Key Projects in South Pasadena

City Manager Takes Firsthand Look at City’s Infrastructure

Fletcher Avenue. Photo by Bill Glazier

Detailing South Pasadena’s aggressive infrastructure efforts, City Manager Sergio Gonzalez toured the city last Friday, examining projects that soon will get underway and others steadily moving along or are completed. “We’re paying strict attention to our streets, city facilities and reservoirs that are aging,” explained Gonzalez. “It’s exciting to look at all the improvements that are being made or will be taking place in the city.”

However, he warns: “Pardon our dust while construction is underway,” noting, “If you’re going to be inconvenienced, why not be inconvenienced to see the improvements throughout the city. We’ll do our best to limit the construction activities. We ask our residents to be patient as we work as efficiently as we can.”

Major projects include resurfacing Monterey Road and Fletcher Avenues, reconstructing Garfield Reservoir, building a new roof and painting the Iron Works Museum, installing rubberized surfaces at playgrounds in Garfield and Orange Grove parks, and building a new dog park in Arroyo Park.

Fletcher Avenue

A new pavement rehabilitation and water and sewer line improvement project will soon begin along Fletcher Avenue.

Construction, starting from Huntington Drive south to Alhambra Road, will include an asphalt overlay on the roadway, replacement of sidewalks, driveways, curbs and gutters and re-connection of curb drains.

The City of South Pasadena has entered into a contract with Vido Samarzich in an amount not to exceed $882,440.

“As part of our aggressive infrastructure improvement program, streets are a vital component,” said South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez. “Fletcher is a street that desperately needs repaving, and is part of our efforts to improve street conditions throughout the city over the years. While we’re repaving Fletcher Avenue, we’ll be replacing a lot of the water pipes on the street, and updating the water infrastructure. We’re glad that we’ll have an updated street for our residents.”

The project was included in the budget for fiscal year 2015-16 and will be carried over to 2016-17.

Monterey Road

Monterey Road. Photo by Bill Glazier
Monterey Road. Photo by Bill Glazier

One of the city’s most traveled roadways is about to get a makeover. Initial repaving of Monterey Road will take place between Fair Oaks Avenue and Meridian Avenue.

“It’s about a $1.5 million project, including the water and sewer lines that are going be improved, along with the curbs and gutters along the stretch,” explained South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez, noting that efforts to incorporate Americans with Disability Act (ADA) accessibility into the design of the Monterey Road Street Improvement Project will also be addressed.

The second phase of the effort to improve travel for motorists will include Meridian Avenue to Via del Rey. Phase three will resurface the heavily-traveled roadway from Via del Rey to Pasadena Avenue.

Gonzalez said the total cost of all three phases is roughly $4 million. He said it’s being phased because “we want to make sure we have funds to make other street improvements in the city,” he said.

One option causing controversy in recent years was talk about a road diet on Monterey Road, meaning condensing of the road from two travel lanes in each direction to one lane with a center turning lane. That would have allowed for parking and a dedicated bike lane. That’s not what we’re doing, stressed Gonzalez, explaining that most of the current project on the books calls for resurfacing of the street.

Garfield Reservoir. Photo by Bill Glazier
Garfield Reservoir. Photo by Bill Glazier

Garfield Reservoir

Garfield Reservoir, in the northern tip of South Pasadena, is the oldest water holding tank in the city’s system, containing more than 2 million gallons once it’s completed in late spring 2017.

The renovation of the reservoir is an $18 million project. “Most of the water pumped from the Wilson Reservoir in the City of San Gabriel is stored at this reservoir,” explained South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez. “It’s a very important reservoir in our system, providing for most of the storage of our water for our residents and then distributed throughout our system in South Pasadena to maintain adequate pressure that’s need for domestic use and also fire suppression.”

Wilson Reservoir was recently reconstructed, and soon Graves Reservoir in San Marino will receive an overhaul. “Graves is going to be the third reservoir we’re going to reconstruct,” said the city manager. “When we reconstruct that reservoir we’ll be able to supplement the water we get from San Gabriel from the wells we have in San Marino. That will help the water distribution, pressure and reliability to our system.”

Three reservoirs – Wilson, Garfield and Graves – have long been neglected, dating back more than 80 years, and are finally receiving the attention they deserve, said Gonzalez.

The rehabilitation effort began back in 2006 with the Grand Reservoir in the city, before Wilson was reconstructed eight years later. Now comes Garfield, Graves is next and Westside Reservoir is down the road.

While looking over the construction efforts at Garfield Reservoir, Gonzalez took a moment to thank neighbors for their patience in recent months. “It’s not easy to watch construction for two years, but they understand this is a critical project for our city,” he said.

Dog Park. Photo by Bill Glazier
Dog Park. Photo by Bill Glazier

Dog Park

With a strong vision by the South Pasadena City Council and community members, a new dog park will soon come to fruition in Arroyo Park.

It’s completion is roughly two months away, noted South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez. “This is a nice amenity for our city to enjoy. We have a very pet-friendly community,” he said.

The park, with the vision of council members, is made possible through a $232,000 grant from L.A. County Board of Supervisor Michael Antonovich, along with a Los Angeles Regional Park and Open Space Proposition A grant.

No general funds from city coffers will go toward the project, stressed Gonzalez.

Holding shovels and wearing hardhats, the South Pasadena City Council, members of the city’s Animal Commission, local police and fire department officials, a Girl Scout, dog lovers and canines all took park in a recent ground-breaking for the new facility on Stoney Drive near the skate park and across the street from the Arroyo Seco Golf Course.

Meridian Iron Works

Meridian Iron Works. Photo by Bill Glazier
Meridian Iron Works. Photo by Bill Glazier

It’s time to restore the exterior of the Meridian Iron Works, better known as South Pasadena’s museum.

K.C. Restoration Co. has won the contract to improve the appearance of the city’s historical site, thanks to the unanimous support of the South Pasadena City Council, which gave its approval recently to spend $83,490 to repaint the exterior of the aging structure.

The Meridian Iron Works is one of the oldest buildings in the city, originally constructed as a general store with lodging rooms on the second floor about 129 years ago. City historians say it has been used for a variety of purposes over the years.

In 1943, the current museum, and adjacent structures, which have since been demolished, became the site of the Mission Iron Works, remaining that way through the 1970s. The city acquired the land, recognizing its significance in the community, and put it through an extensive rehabilitation effort in 1986. Today, the property is leased out annually through the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, which operates it as museum.

A popular attraction during the weekly farmers market in town, the Meridian Iron Works Museum is designated as a South Pasadena landmark, and in 1982 was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Orange Grove Park. Photo by Bill Glazier
Orange Grove Park. Photo by Bill Glazier
Garfield Park. Photo by Bill Glazier
Garfield Park. Photo by Bill Glazier

Orange Grove and Garfield Park

A pair of local playgrounds have received new playing surfaces with the installation of rubberized materials, replacing worn surfaces.

Mayor Diana Mahmud and Councilmember Marina Khubesrian expressed concern about losing sand space for toddlers and small children in the two playground areas. Gonzalez said city staff completed a design that features sand play areas at both parks.

Miracle Playground Sales completed the project at a cost of $83,674.61 and the funds were reimbursed by the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District under the Proposition A Maintenance and Services Program.

“We regularly inspect our play structures to make sure they are safe,” said Gonzalez. “When we did a recent audit of our playgrounds, we found that the rubberized surface, meant to soften the impact if someone were to fall from a swing or apparatus, was in need of replacing.”

City Reports contributed to this story.

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