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Grand Avenue in Carlsbad to Get New Storm Drains

Carlsbad CA— The City of Carlsbad will soon begin a major storm drain improvement project along Grand Avenue in the heart of Carlsbad Village, and make other improvements to bring aging infrastructure up to modern standards to protect property, the environment and public safety.

The project is scheduled to begin in April and is expected to take six months to complete. The City Council awarded the $1.64 million contract for the project on Tuesday to Palm Engineering and Construction of San Diego after a competitive bid process.

The city is combining several projects into one to minimize disruption to Village businesses and residents. In addition to the storm drain project, the city will replace old water main valves; install new conduit for electrical lines making it possible to install electricity for decorative tree lighting; install fiber-optic cable; and replace old streetlight poles, conduit and wire with newer material to bring them up to modern standards.

Once the work is completed, city will repave Grand Avenue between State and Jefferson streets.

Carlsbad associate engineer Sherri Howard, who’s managing the storm drain improvement project, said the work is part of a multi-year plan to systematically address drainage problems in northwestern Carlsbad. Pipes were originally installed when much of the city was farmland and they are not up to handling today’s demands.

“Some of the storm drain system in northwestern Carlsbad is the oldest in the city and dates back to the 1960s, so we’re upgrading it section by section and adding new pipes where they’re needed,” said Howard.

The storm water drainage system, which is separate from the sewer system, includes gutters, channels and underground pipelines that take runoff from streets directly to creeks, lagoons and the ocean.

The storm drain project entails installing a new 48-inch diameter, reinforced concrete pipe beneath the roadway surface, as well as installing new curb inlets.

The city has prioritized drainage repair and replacement based on need, and each year the City Council appropriates funding to work down the list. If an old section of pipe gives way unexpectedly in the meantime, the city dispatches work crews to make immediate repairs.

“The Grand Avenue project is a special challenge because it anchors one of the busiest commercial streets in the city, hosting many events,” said Howard. “There’s no convenient time to open up the streets and lay new pipe, but we will do our best to minimize the disruption.”

Construction crews are scheduled to begin work the first week of April at the alley between the railroad tracks and State Street, and then work east up Grand Avenue in stages to the pipe’s eastern end, which lies under the alley between Madison and Jefferson streets.

Businesses and residents will be informed of the work as it progresses, and work crews will install traffic control measures where needed. The city will maintain at least two travel lanes during the work and will protect the mature trees that line Grand Avenue and give the roadway its unique character.

Funding is provided through the City of Carlsbad General Fund, State of California Gas Tax Funds, the street lighting district assessment fund and Carlsbad Municipal Water District replacement funds. The City of Carlsbad Construction Management and Inspections team will supervise the work.

For more information contact Sherri Howard, 760-602-2756, sherri.howard@carlsbadca.gov

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