Even as one street improvement project is finishing up, city officials are working to get two larger projects going.
Work is essentially done on the repaving of West Sixth Street, with some minor details left to be completed. That project was paid for primarily through a state grant, with some local matching funds.
Next up will be the widening of West Ninth Street between Palm and Olive Avenues. This project will require the Pear Main Canal that runs along the north edge of the street to be under-grounded by the Imperial Irrigation District first. Following that, the street can finally be widened to full width and sidewalks, curbs and gutters can be installed on the north side.
After that project is finished, most of the streets in town will be sealed and cracks will be sealed. Some bad sections will be replaced as funds allow.
Both of the new projects were discussed at Monday evening’s Holtville City Council action, with action taken to get them underway. West Ninth Street has been one of the city’s narrowest streets
for most of its history because of the canal. While vehicles traveling in opposite directions can pass each other, that task is a little harder when other cars are parallel parked along the south side of the street.
Over the years, sections of the canal have been piped underground and Ninth has been widened. Some sections have been under-grounded as a requirement for nearby development, while the city has undertaken others as money became available. The westernmost stretch between Olive and Melon will soon be the last open section inside the city limits.
The IID plans to run the existing canal through a new pipeline, which will then be covered. That project is expected to take place in November, so the city has to move quickly to follow-up road
construction immediately afterwards.
The project is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $715,000, with bids now being accepted.
The citywide street improvement project will be a big one, with estimates running in the $3 million range. The city is advertising for design engineering services right now, with bidding to follow.
City Manager Nick Wells noted that the city would like to get the project started before next summer, since it needs to be done in cooler weather. A big part of the repairs will include sealing cracks in the pavement, and that is best done in the winter/spring when the pavement contracts and the cracks are at their widest.
After that, most of the streets will have a sealant placed on top. This should keep them in good condition for a few more years.
The majority of the streets in town were repaved more than 20 years ago, and city officials hope to make the most of that investment by protecting the asphalt and keeping bad cracks and potholes from developing.