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Construction on Firestone Boulevard Improvements Start

Groundbreaking for the new Firestone Boulevard Improvement Project began this month, after a two year design period with the Downtown Downey Subcommittee.

Groundbreaking for the new Firestone Boulevard Improvement Project began this month, after a two year design period with the Downtown Downey Subcommittee.

By Tammye McDuff

Groundbreaking for the new Firestone Boulevard Improvement Project began this month, after a two year design period with the Downtown Downey Subcommittee.
Over the past two years the subcommittee has been planning major and much needed improvements for Firestone Boulevard, from Old river School Road to Brookshire Avenue. The goal is to improve the traffic capacity, road safety and beautification. The Firestone Boulevard improvement has been headed by Council Roger Brossmer and Councilman Mario Guerra.
As reported earlier by HMG, the first phase will see the replacement of storm drains and potable water system infrastructure; construction of new raised landscaped median island between Old River School Road and Paramount Boulevard; replacement of existing median island landscaping between Paramount Boulevard and Brookshire Avenue; installation of new street and pedestrian lighting between Myrtle Avenue and Brookshire Avenue; construction of streetscape enhancement features through the downtown area between Dolan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue and the rehabilitation of the existing street pavement between Old River School Road and Brookshire Avenue. Two lanes will remain open on Firestone Boulevard the majority of the time with temporary two-lane closures. Subsequent phases will include electrical and decorative street lighting; landscape and irrigation; pavement rehabilitation; and site furnishings.
In an extensive outreach by City staff to local business, discussions were held to confer traffic related issues and how best to deal with the almost 40,000 vehicles that travel Firestone Boulevard. It was agreed that the addition of a third traffic lane, in each direction would help to alleviate congestion.
Improvements between Myrtle Street and Dolan Avenue will take into consideration additions for visitors and pedestrians. These upgrading will include decorative colored pavers, benches, decorative lighting and complementary landscaped features. One of the most prominent additions will be a Downtown Downey Gateway Monument, to be installed at Firestone Boulevard and Downey Avenue.
Construction on Firestone Boulevard improvements began October 2013, to improve storm drain systems. The concrete development began this month and is slated to be completed June 2014. Removal of median islands, sidewalks, curbs and gutters along with some existing driveways will see a change for the better. Upcoming phases will include electrical and decorative street lighting, landscape and the installation of site furnishings.
Mayor Fernando Vasquez stated, “I’m looking forward to seeing the project take shape and kindly ask businesses to please be patient during the process. I understand that the businesses will be impacted by the construction, but we could all agree that Firestone Boulevard needs a vast improvement. When the project is complete, it will be exciting to see the transformation of Firestone Boulevard.”

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