The City of Santa Clarita has been recognized by the American Public Works Association (APWA) with five Public Works awards in 2018. The city received the “Outstanding Public Works Project of the Year” award for the Old Town Newhall Parking Structure and the “Best Environmental Project” award for the completion of the Heritage Trail from Gateway Ranch to Wildwood Canyon, from the APWA High Desert Branch. The city also earned a trio of awards from the APWA Southern California Chapter for Enhancing Pedestrian Safety and Traffic Flow Through the Use of Electronic Blank-Out Signs (“Creative and Innovative”), the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening (“Transportation”) and the Heritage Trail from Gateway Ranch to Wildwood Canyon (“Recreational and Athletic Facilities”).
The City of Santa Clarita adopted the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan with the vision of turning Newhall’s historic core into an Arts and Entertainment District. To support the parking demand, a seven-level, 152,000-square-foot Parking Structure with 372 stalls was built. The Old Town Newhall Parking Structure also incorporates a rooftop space for community events with views of the Santa Clarita Valley.
The City of Santa Clarita partnered with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and William S. Hart School District to develop plans and construct the Heritage Trail from the city’s Wildwood Canyon Open Space to Gateway Ranch Open Space. The design team consisted of a group of 12 senior volunteer trails crew, averaging 70 years old, and 32 high school students from the local William S. Hart School District, along with a school teacher. The entire process took three weeks from design to trail completion and the city donated $9,000 to the project, compared to the more than $200,000 it would have cost for private construction.
The city is utilizing Electronic Blank-Out Signs at major crosswalks, railroad crossings and intersections to improve traffic flow and travel time, reduce vehicle queues and improve pedestrian safety. Electronic Blank-Out Signs turn on to alert motorists of pedestrians entering crosswalks and trains approaching railroad crossings, and also assist the city in modifying lane assignments by time of day.
The Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening over San Francisquito Creek is a project that is providing an additional travel lane in each direction, as well as a raised median, barrier-protected sidewalks, a bike trail and a trail connection underneath the bridge. The result is increased safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists through this highly-traveled stretch of Newhall Ranch Road.
The American Public Works Association is a nonprofit, professional association of public works agencies, private companies and individuals working to promote professional excellence and public awareness of public works through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge. The Southern California Chapter includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The High Desert Branch includes Antelope Valley, Victor Valley and Santa Clarita areas. To learn more about the Southern California Chapter, visit southernca.apwa.net. To learn more about the High Desert Branch, visit apwahdsoca.com.
For more information about the City of Santa Clarita’s Public Works Department, contact the city at (661) 259-2489.