Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Monday, Oct. 23 @ 11:01 a.m.
Crescent City Nets Another $3 Million Grant; Clean California Dollars Will Go Toward Gateway Project Near Beachfront Park
Crescent City will receive yet more grant dollars to put toward the revitalization of its Beachfront Park and Front Street areas.
The city will use a nearly $3 million Clean California grant to create a seamless gateway to Beachfront Park. This includes a gateway monument, landscaping near the S Curves on U.S. 101 to mimic coastal dunes and other environmental features and improved public access to the Crescent City Cultural Center and the Point of Honor veterans monument.
The project involves removing the stairs to the Cultural Center as well as building plazas at Play and Front streets that incorporate Tolowa designs, City Manager Eric Wier said. Crescent City was notified that it won the Clean California grant last week. Wier told Councilors last week that he’d bring a full report back of what that grant funding will be used for once the city is awarded the grant.
“The big piece that’s left out is the street itself on these two blocks,” Wier said, referring to reconstructing Front Street between Play Street and U.S. 101 — a project the city is seeking Community Development Block Grant dollars for. “We will keep working through the process on that.”
The Clean California Local Grant Program is a Caltrans program that aims to "beautify and improve streets and roads, tribal lands, parks, pathways and transit centers."
In the first grant cycle, Caltrans awarded roughly $300 million to 105 projects. The department awarded about $100 million to 42 projects statewide in the second cycle.
Crescent City's project was part of the grant's second cycle, according to Caltrans.
The Yurok Tribe is also a Clean California award recipient. The tribe will use $5 million to enhance existing gathering places and build new community spaces, according to Caltrans. This includes remodeling existing sport facilities, installing new recreational equipment and art and ensuring those facilities are secure.
Crescent City's $3 million Clean California Grant comes as it prepares to break ground on an expanded Kid Town, a bike park with pump tracks and an amphitheater — components of Beachfront Park’s big redesign.
According to Wier, the city is in the process of designing the park’s new amenities and seeking the necessary permits. He said the city should break ground next spring.
The big sticking point, Wier said, is whether the park’s new features will be fully constructed “in an often limited summer window.”
“We think it’s going to take two construction seasons to build it all for the full development,” he told the Council. “But this whole area will be under construction with large projects over the next several years.”
Crescent City received $3 million in state Rural Recreation and Tourism grant dollars in August 2022 and $5 million in Statewide Park Program grant dollars in December 2021 toward the rebuild of Beachfront Park.
In addition to the new amphitheater, playground expansion and bike park with pump tracks, Beachfront Park will feature a one-mile pedestrian loop and a section devoted to Tolowa culture.
Accompanied by video interviews, interpretive signs and a traditional stool, the Tolowa Coastal Stories segment of the park was paid for by a $200,000 California Coastal Conservancy Coastal Stories grant.
Other projects in the area include the reconstruction of Front Street. According to Wier, paving on the G to I street stretch of the project is expected to be finished in mid-November.
The city is using a combination of Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act dollars and federal Community Project Funding moneys courtesy of Congressman Jared Huffman to finish the next block of Front Street — from I to Play Street, according to Wier.
Redwood Coast Transit is using $7 million in state Transit Intercity Rail Program funds to design a new transit hub near the Del Norte County Library. According to Wier, that will build restrooms, a ticket booth and dedicated parking spaces for buses.
Councilor Kelly Schellong said she was ecstatic at learning that Crescent City received another $3 million toward Beachfront Park. Schellong, who was appointed in January, was on the City Council in 2012 when the city developed the park’s master plan.
“What we’re going to be accomplishing in Beachfront Park in the next five years is beyond belief and it’s such a reward for me to see it actually come to fruition,” she said last week.