Espola Road upgrading options before Poway council
By Steve Dreyer
Poway City Council members on Tuesday night are expected to reaffirm a decision in June not to widen a portion of Espola Road and to review several options for upgrading the appearance of the roadway.
Councilmemembers are also scheduled to hear a proposal from the county librarian on plans to renovate the 15-year-old Poway branch library.
Whether Espola Road should be widened between Twin Peaks Road and Titan Way was the subject of a crowded town hall meeting held on June 4. The council decided at that time not to widen the roadway to include a continuous middle turn lane. An Environmental Impact Report which included the widening was approved, but councilmembers made it clear that the roadway should remain in its current configuration.
On Tuesday night the council will be asked to adopt a resolution confirming it does not want to widen the road.
Also during the June meeting, all five councilmembers expressed interest in coming up with a plan to add sidewalks to upgrade pedestrian safety and perhaps underground overhead utility lines.
City staff on Tuesday will present four design alternatives and will recommend one option costing $1,650,000 to complete. It does not include utility line undergrounding.
The recommended option calls for construction of a sidewalk or DG (decomposed granite) pathway on the west side of the road, with an unlandscaped parkway strip adjacent to the edge. About 3,000 linear feet of sidewalk/path would be separated from the edge of the pavement by the parkway strip. Retaining walls would be necessary and the city would need to obtain rights-of-way from 15 parcels, ranging from about 5 to 10 feet deep along the roadway.
Other options range from $1,150,000 to $2,990,000. The most expensive option includes a riding trail.
Each option would include relocation of utility poles and installation of street lights, either at regular intervals or only at intersections.
No city money has been allocated for work on Espola Road. Several funding options are mentioned, including the General Fund, post-redevelopment property taxes being returned to the city or regional Transnet money.
In her report to the council, City Manager Penny Riley wrote that San Diego Gas & Electric roughly estimates it would cost $5.5 million to underground the utilities and the lines crossing two of the three intersections along that portion of Espola Road. Riley said the city has $1,250,000 in a fund available to help with the cost and could borrow another $670,000 on expected fund allocations, for a total of $1,920,000.
Regarding the library, Jose Aponte, director of library services for the county, is expected to speak at the start of the meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers, 13325 Civic Center Drive.
Riley on Monday said the remodeling proposal is still being negotiated and that details are not ready for public review. The city, the county and the Friends of the Poway Library are likely to be financial partners in the project, which will not include expanding the size of the building, Riley said.
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