City hires contractor for Birmingham Drive project

The City of Encinitas entered an agreement June 7 with a contractor to design the Birmingham Drive Complete Streets Improvement Project.

The city council approved a contract with Michael Baker International in the amount of $748,000 plus 20 percent contingencies to redesign Birmingham through Cardiff.

“With Birmingham Drive being a neighborhood collector street corridor with a significant amount of pedestrian and bicycle usage, it is a prime candidate for a complete streets improvement project,” a city document reads.

City staff said several issues on the street need to be addressed, including: utility poles that should be undergrounded to improve aesthetics and so residents can enjoy panoramic views of the ocean; adding ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant sidewalks and ramps for pedestrians to use on both sides of the street; adding a bike lane (dedicated or shared); constructing a roundabout to improve safety at Birmingham Drive and Newcastle Drive, an area that has a horizontal curve and has additional traffic movements from the retail parking at the southerly corners; planting bioretention areas between the curb and sidewalk for runoff; extending a reclaimed water line to provide recycled water opportunities for both Cardiff Elementary School and Glen Park; and rehabilitating the pavement, which has not been improved since the city was incorporated in 1986.

The city in March received proposals from eight contractors but ultimately decided to work with Michael Baker International, which has been involved in similar projects in San Diego County, including Encinitas’ North Coast Highway 101 Streetscape project.

“In their proposal, Michael Baker International proposed some innovative design alternatives that will help minimize right-of-way impacts to adjacent private properties, expedite the environmental permitting process and help get the project out to construction sooner,” according to a city staff report.

City staff anticipates the design and permitting will be completed by mid-August 2018, and the project will go out to bid for construction at that time. Based on that timeline, construction could go from November 2018 to April 2020.

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