Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, May 24, 2023 @ 12:06 p.m. / Infrastructure, Local Government, Roads

Crescent City Will Resume Front Street Reconstruction After Fourth of July Starting With G-I Street Stretch

An older picture of what Front Street is expected to look like. | Image courtesy of Crescent City


Front Street or Washington Boulevard Culvert? Crescent City, County Submits Competing Funding Requests to Transportation Commission

Crescent City Proposes Using Surplus Measure S, Bed and Sales Tax Dollars for Front Street Reconstruction, Will Ask Transportation Commission for $400k


Crescent City councilors on Monday chose Tidewater Contractors to spearhead the reconstruction of Front Street.

The Brookings-based firm is expected to start the G Street to I Street stretch after the Fourth of July, City Manager Eric Wier said, noting that the $2.2 million needed to pay for it is available right now.

Funding should be available for the project’s second phase — extending Front Street’s reconstruction to Play Street — after the city finalizes and submits federal environmental documents in mid-July, Wier said.

“The community’s waited a long time. We put nine different funding sources together to make this project (happen),” he told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Wednesday. “We’re close to expenses matching the funding. We’re excited to get the project done and we have the contractor ready to do it.”

Front Street improvements include storm drain upgrades, new water lines, streetlights, sidewalks, ADA ramps and driveways. The street’s width will be reduced from four to two lanes with turning lanes at H Street and Stamps Way, which will become the main entrance to Beachfront Park.

Extra parking will be included in the project’s second phase, from I to Play streets.

The city cobbled together the $2.2 million for the G to I streets portion from a variety of sources last year including Measure S tax revenue, American Rescue Plan Act dollars, general fund money and a $400,000 contribution from the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission.

The project is expected to cost roughly $2.16 million, leaving $37,972 left for contingencies.

This is the “base bid,” Wier told councilors Ray Altman and Kelly Schellong and Mayor Isaiah Wright.

Extending Front Street’s reconstruction to Play Street will be paid for using $950,000 in federal Community Project Funding from Congressman Jared Huffman as well as Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) dollars.

There is also $315,063 in Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) dollars available that had been earmarked for pedestrian improvements to Front Street at H Street including sidewalks and street lighting. Using those funds requires California Transportation Commission approval, Wier said, which means bidding the project separately.

The city had still been communicating with Caltrans about that third phase of the Front Street project, Wier told Councilors on Monday. CTC approval likely wouldn’t happen until about September, which would put construction off until the following spring.

City Councilors directed staff to use $600,000 in available Measure S dollars earmarked for street projects for those pedestrian improvements and put that $315,000 toward a different street project.

“One of the street projects we were discussing for Measure S money was A Street,” he said. “It’s in really bad shape. It’s a collector street and it could also be eligible for the use of that $315,000.”

The base project — reconstructing Front Street from G to I streets — also includes improvements to the water system. According to Wier, the city will replace cast iron pipes that were installed “sometime in the ‘50s, is our best guess.” The city had previously budgeted $150,000 for that project out of its water fund, but asked Councilors to add another $200,000 to extend the water portion to Play Street.

On Monday, Ernie Perry, chair of the Measure S Oversight Committee, said the $600,000 was set aside to address street projects identified in a pavement management study. He said Front Street was likely part of that pavement study.

“I would defer to the Council, but I think it’s within the realm of possibility that the Council could decide to spend $600,000 on any of the roads on that list,” Perry said. “You’re the ones that decide which roads get built and when.”

Councilors asked Wier to consult with transportation commission director Tamera Leighton and bring her concerns regarding the $315,000 and bring them back to the City Council.

Altman pointed out that the Del Norte Transportation Commission had allocated those Statewide Transportation Improvement Program dollars to the city because they felt Front Street was important. The county had submitted a request to use STIP dollars to repair a failing culvert on Washington Boulevard.

“We had to have a little fight over that money and I’m not sure switching it over to (something) other than Front Street would be a good sell or if it would be a sell at all,” Altman said.

Wier, however, said no one realized there would be strings attached to that STIP funding.


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