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City Council likely to green-light R Street improvements

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After months of delay, the project to improve R Street between 10th and 13th streets will move forward, pending City Council approval Tuesday.

Currently, that section of R Street lacks any uniformity in regard to curbs, street lighting and parking, said Tim Mar, supervising engineer for the Sacramento Department of Transportation.

The project will rebuild the curves, repave the streets and add defined parking spaces and street lighting.

Another facet of the project will be restoring the historical character of the area – which is mixed-use with some industrial, business and residential buildings.

The project was originally scheduled to start in spring, but since federal funding is financing it along with local funding – none of which is from the general fund – approval had to be gotten from Washington, D.C.

“It was quite a significant delay in getting that approval,” Mar said, adding that it took twice as long as normal due to administrative processes.

Staff is recommending the City Council award the construction contract of about $2.75 million to Teichert construction.

Darryl Hansen, estimating manager for Teichert’s Sacramento office, said he expects to break ground around Oct. 1 and finish the project by late summer, 2011.

Most of the work is concrete, as the street will be repaved with colored concrete, curbs will be built and the existing historic rail spur – currently partially paved-over – will be set off by cobblestones as part of the preservation of the area’s history.

Hansen said the project is a positive thing for the construction industry, which has been hard-hit in the past few years.

During the 36 weeks of construction, there will be times when streets are closed, but Hansen said keeping open access to local businesses is a priority.

“It’s critical to let the businesses have access,” he said.

Dino Grassini, manager of the Fox and Goose Restaurant on the corner of 10th and R streets, said he thinks the project will be good for business.

“We’re 100 percent behind it,” he said. “It will eventually benefit us, and it will draw more attention (to R Street) and bring more people down here.”

Mar said that in addition to the existing businesses benefiting, he expects more development in the area once the project is complete, including condo-type residences.

“We’re excited the project is moving forward,” Mar said. “It’s taken us probably at least five years to get to this point, and I think the corridor is going to receive a dramatic facelift.”

The City Council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall, located at 915 I St. The staff report for the R Street project can be viewed here.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

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