Repaved Streets, Sidewalks and Curbs Approved for Mecca
MECCA – Sidewalks near Mecca Elementary School, repaved streets and improved drainage are major benefits of a Riverside County project due to start soon in the Mecca community.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously awarded a contract for the repaving of Coahuilla Street, Date Palm Street and a portion of Fourth Street, ending in a cul de sac where the former fire station used to be at. Sidewalks and curb ramps will be added to improve drainage and pedestrian access, especially for children who walk to Mecca Elementary School.
“This is a very important project that provides sidewalks and curbs near Mecca Elementary School and repaves streets in poor condition,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “Four years ago, Mecca streets had major potholes and standing water after a big rain. We have made dramatic improvements throughout the downtown area, and the community looks forward to these smoother streets and safer walking paths.”
Construction on the project is anticipated to begin in the last week of March, during spring break for Coachella Valley Unified School District students.
From 2010 to 2013, the Riverside County Transportation Department administered the construction of three phases of repaved streets and installation of sidewalk and curb and gutter, as well as a roundabout at Fourth Street and Hammond Road.
The improvements, totaling more than $13.7 million, were largely funded by county redevelopment funds. The county planned for a five-phase, $22 million Mecca Downtown Street Revitalization Project for seven miles of street, sidewalk, curb and gutter, and street light improvements for fifteen streets within the 1.3 square-mile downtown area. The elimination of redevelopment agencies in 2011 left the county without a source of funding to complete the remaining projects.
“We made a promise to Mecca to upgrade all the streets in the community as a whole, and that was based on having redevelopment available,” Benoit said. “With the funding gone, we didn’t want to leave the rest of the streets behind but had to plan going forward. The community agreed that the streets around Mecca Elementary School were an overwhelming priority. I give great credit to county staff for finding a way to help the community as much as we can.”
The $1.02 million project is largely funded (87 percent) by local gasoline taxes used to maintain approximately 2,100 miles of Riverside County roads. The remainder came from the state’s Safe Routes to School program, allowing the county to stretch the gas tax funding.
Construction duration is set for two months and is expected to be completed by early summer.