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Santa Monica Capital Project Spending Hit $185 Million Last Year

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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

February 7, 2018 -- From a $66 million annex to City Hall to a series of other building projects both big and small, the City of Santa Monica spent, or committed to spending, $185 million as it progressed on hundreds of capital-improvement projects last year, according to a year-end progress report.

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the City spent about $97 million, and committed to another $88 million in contracts requiring near-term contracts, said Susan Cline, the City’s director of public works.

It represents about half of the CPI budget for last fiscal year, she said. The remaining funds will be carried forward to finance a long list of projects, which typically require more than a year to complete and as a result need access to ongoing dollars.

In all, the City budgeted 233 projects in the last fiscal year, about a quarter of which were for ongoing maintenance, such as street repaving, urban forest renewal and replacement of aged vehicles in the City’s fleet.

Highlights of the year, Cline said, were design development of the City Services Building, uber-green -- and expensive -- and meant to meet “Living Building Challenge” certification ("City of Santa Monica Prepares to Bond Nearly $77 million for Greenest Building in California History," August 4, 2017).

The modernization of the aged City Yards -- a project expected to cost $114 million in its first phases -- also moved forward, with feasibility and conceptual designs completed ("Santa Monica Lays Groundwork for $114 Million Phase of City Yards Project," January 10, 2017).

In addition, the City saw the completion of installation of fiber-optic infrastructure for Clover Park, Fire Station 2 and Fire Station 5.

At the same time, the City purchased more than 2,600 trash containers, Cline said, and replaced 90 vehicles.

Cline said the annual report provides a “comprehensive one-year snapshot of progress made on all capital projects” funded last fiscal year.

Capital projects are funded by dozens of sources and range in size from small improvements (minimum of $50,000), routine maintenance projects to large one-time construction projects costing tens of millions of dollars, Cline said.

A long list of projects to help public streets run smoothly and safely -- especially for pedestrians and cyclists -- also made progress, she said.

For instance, completed projects included the Berkeley Traffic Engineering project, which installed three corner "bulbouts," one traffic circle and three raised medians; the “I-10 Ramp Signage Improvements” project, and the Expo Bike Path Phones project, which installed emergency “blue phone” stations to allow pedestrians and cyclists to contact emergency services.

In addition, 973 sidewalk repairs were completed throughout the City, Cline said.

Construction of the 2.35-acre Ishihara Park was completed and opened to the public in February 2017. The schematic design and design development phases of the Airport Park Expansion project were largely completed, and Reed Park was completely renovated.

Also detailed in the report were key projects for water delivery and affordable housing.


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