By Marlena Chavira-Medford
A strip of Highway 101 in Solana Beach is slated for a facelift, which will likely begin within the year.
The overhaul, which Nasland Engineering has been working on for months, will include the approximately mile-long stretch along Highway 101 from Dahlia Drive to Cliff Street. The project will include: four lanes within the existing right-of-way; parallel and angle parking on the west side of the street; a bike lane in each direction; wider sidewalks; a narrower median, which will be painted in some portions; and several traffic-calming features, such as curb pop-outs and mid-block crossings.
On Jan. 12, the Solana Beach City Council approved an agreement with Nasland Engineering to complete the final phases of the design, which will cost $455,008. The city was able to negotiate that price down about 35 percent by cutting corners through things such as using city staff to organize all community input meetings and reducing the drainage and design work needed by pulling information from the city’s own master plan. There will also be allowance left for project add-ons, including fountain features and ornamental lighting.
Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner said that several neighbors have expressed concern over existing trees being taken out of the medians, but she pointed out that many of those trees will actually be re-planted along the sidewalks and several new trees will be added.
In other news:
Lomas Santa Fe Median to be extended
The Lomas Santa Fe Drive median starting at Solana Hills Drive will be extended to the southbound Interstate 5 off-ramp. The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will pay for the project, which will cost about $36,000. Construction is expected to take a couple of months, and should be done by May.
New film permit ordinance
The Solana Beach City Council introduced Ordinance 412, which applies to anyone who wants to film for commercial purposes in Solana Beach. City Manager David Ott said the city gets about three to five such requests per year, and typically the special events permits are used to handle them. The new ordinance will require applicants to pay a $50 fee. News media outlets and anyone shooting film not for commercial use will be exempt from this ordinance.