The damp weather was no match for the good vibes felt at the Ocean Park Branch Library on Monday when Santa Monica elected and community officials broke ground to launch a new era along a key stretch of road.
With construction starting this week, Ocean Park Boulevard between Neilson Way and Lincoln Boulevard will soon be turned into a “Complete Green Street.”
The project is expected to serve as a model of sustainability, multi-modality, and low-impact street design.
“This project is expected to improve the character and functionality of the street for all users, and improve the quality and reduce the quantity of storm water runoff from the adjacent drainage area,” Rick Valte, a principal engineer at City Hall, wrote to council members in a staff report a few months back.
Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony was hosted by the Ocean Park Association and was the culmination of a team effort involving City Hall, local stakeholders, and community leaders.
City Hall hopes the new Ocean Park Boulevard will reclaim public open space and rescale the thoroughfare while following the principles of the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE).
Proponents of the “Complete Green Street” project believe Ocean Park Boulevard west of Lincoln Boulevard will become one of the most pedestrian and bicycle friendly stretches of road in the city, if not the region.
Even more, once complete, the “Complete Green Street” will prevent urban runoff from spilling into the Santa Monica Bay, according to City Hall.
Ocean Park Boulevard will be limited to one lane in each direction during construction, which is estimated to take at least one year to complete. This means the “Complete Green Street” could be ready for the beginning of 2013 if there are no major delays.
Carrying a construction price tag of about $3.8 million, City Hall expects the “Complete Green Street” to entirely change the physical landscape of about two miles of road in the southwestern corner of the city.
Once complete, the new-look Ocean Park Boulevard will include: wider sidewalks; more than 100 new trees, landscaping, and medians; newly marked crosswalks with “enhanced overhead flashing beacons;” bike racks; painted bike lanes and traffic striping; street furniture; trash and recycling cans; 75 “pedestrian-scaled” light poles; traffic signal improvements; Los Amigos Park storm drain improvements; a drip irrigation system; and, advanced storm water bio-filter swales and infiltration areas.
Funding for the “Complete Green Street” project was made possible by a combination of resources, including Measure V (the Clean Beaches and Ocean Parcel Tax), Proposition 1B, Proposition C, and the city’s General Fund.
For more information on the Ocean Park Boulevard “Complete Green Street” project, please visit www.SMConstructs.org/OPB.
All construction-related questions may be directed to the construction manager, Arcadis U.S., Inc., at 310.857.4946.