Over the course of the next five years, the City of Grover Beach will invest nearly $24 million in infrastructure improvements throughout the community. Led by the Public Works Department, this work includes making improvements to local streets and roads, water and wastewater systems, and City parks and facilities to enhance quality of life in the community.
This upcoming work follows the completion of several key projects over the year including the grant-funded train station expansion project that provided a bus passenger loading area along with additional parking and landscaping at the South County’s only Amtrak station.
“The scope of recently completed, ongoing, and future projects reflects the City’s dedication to provide quality infrastructure that enhances both civic strength and economic growth,” said Jeff Lee, Grover Beach Mayor.
One of the most critical roles for the City is the maintenance and improvement of the City’s local streets and roads. These local streets and roads connect our community and provide the pathways for both economic and personal activities.
Since passage of Measure K-14 in 2014, the City has completed nine street rehabilitation projects providing maintenance and repair for over 200 city blocks or approximately 50% of the local streets identified as part of the 25-year repair program. These improvements have raised the City’s average pavement condition index (PCI) rating for local streets from 39 to 52 in just four years with repairs and improvements most recently made on Newport Avenue and South 16th Street. The tenth project is in final design with a total of 16 blocks on North 8th Street, South 9th Street and 14th Street with construction anticipated to begin by the end of this calendar year. The eleventh project, which includes streets around Grover Beach Elementary School such as Seabright, Trouville and Manhattan Avenue, will cover a total of 22 blocks and is beginning the design and engineering phase. The Council has also identified 54 additional blocks of local streets for future repair projects. A more comprehensive map with completed, in progress and future street projects can be viewed here.
While the City is proud to be able to deliver on so many street improvements throughout the Grover Beach community, the City has not been able to make substantial progress on repairing major streets not funded by Measure K-14 funds. There are three major streets currently in the design phase that are largely without funding – West Grand Avenue, South Oak Park Boulevard and North 4th Street. Improvements on these streets includes pedestrian and bicyclist enhancements at intersections, such as restriping and signal time modifications, as well as pavement rehabilitation. The total cost of repairing all the major streets in the city is over $10 million with little funding identified for these repairs beyond funding allocated for the South Oak Park Boulevard rehabilitation which ultimately may need additional funds depending on the final design of the project. Therefore, in order to continue moving these projects forward, additional funding would need to be pursued through some other means.
Complementing the progress on street repair and maintenance work, the City is also continuing to pursue sidewalk infill and construction projects. Within the past five years, the City has added approximately two miles of sidewalks and pathways in conjunction with the Measure K-14 street improvements. Additionally, Grover Beach has received $300,000 in grants from the Safe Routes to School program and is using this funding toward bicycle and pedestrian improvements near Grover Beach Elementary School which will be under construction this fall.
Projects such as this help to alleviate traffic congestion, improve air quality, and provide an opportunity for a healthier and safer way for students to get to and from school. However, there is little funding for additional citywide sidewalk or bicycle improvements at this time and Measure K-14 funds are intended to be used for street improvements with 227 blocks remaining to be improved. To include additional pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancements on local streets, the City will need to allocate additional funding from the General Fund or other sources.
Water quality and availability is incredibly important for overall public and environmental health, and the City is engaged in several actions in this area. The first is the Central Coast Blue recycled water project, which is a joint effort by the Cities of Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach, as well as the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District. Once constructed, the facility will treat wastewater that is currently being disposed of in the ocean and instead inject it into the local groundwater basin. This helps to combat salt water intrusion into the groundwater basin while providing a more sustainable water resource. The project is in the final design and environmental review phase with construction projected to begin in 2022.
With much of the City’s system of water mains originally built in the late 1950s and 1960s, Grover Beach was awarded $1.6 million from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to upgrade the water system in the census track near Grover Beach Elementary School. This was the second CDBG-funded water main replacement project and following completion of this current project, the City will have replaced the majority of 2” and 4” mains identified as priorities though additional mains remain deficient and will also need to be addressed through additional funding sources. This project is in progress and the goal is to assure the City’s water system is capable of producing adequate pressure and flow for domestic use and fire protection purposes.
Lastly, the City is also carrying out improvements to its sewer system including constructing a new sewer main near Highland Way that will allow properties currently on private septic systems to connect to the sewer. Failing septic systems can cause degradation of surface and groundwater resources and are susceptible to numerous problems, including overflow during heavy rainfall and damage from disposal of industrial wastes. While this project is still in the planning phase, it is anticipated that this project will be under construction and completed in 2021.
While there has been significant progress and improvements made to the City’s infrastructure system, much more work remains to be done to modernize infrastructure and City facilities throughout the city. The City of Grover Beach remains committed to finding innovative solutions and new ways to address these needs to help Grover Beach continue to prosper and thrive.