A spokes person for the Garcetti Administration confirms that the Mayor has asked the Bureau of Engineering to formally request an extension on when it has to spend the $50 million that will fund the Hyperion-Glendale Bridge seismic retrofit. A copy of the city’s letter can be found at the end of the article.
Advocates pushing for a more “complete streets” design than the one the Bureau presented this fall have been stymied by the project timeline. After years of delay, the bureau presented designs for four fourteen foot lanes, a crash barrier in the middle of the bridge, and a sidewalk removal on the south side of the bridge. After advocates pushed back, a new design has a pair of three feet gutter bike lanes and shrunk mixed use travel lanes.
An improvement, but hardly one that safe streets advocates were happy with.
As advocates presented new designs for the bridge, the timeline for the project became an issue. The $50 million from the federal government for the retrofit required that final design be completed by early next Spring, a process that would be impossible if a full environmental review were required.
However, an extended timeline would change the playing field allowing visions more progressive than the “compromise” presented by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition as an alternative to the highway-like conditions that the city was proposing for the bridge.
Streetsblog will have more on this story next week, but for now it seems this project has the full attention of Mayor Garcetti and that more progressive solutions for the bridge’s final design will be possible, if Caltrans and the federal government play ball.