Oct. 30, 2012
Monica Lara, OVN correspondent
Streets deemed two of the worst in Ojai are scheduled for improvements beginning in November.
The work will include 350 yards on El Paseo Road, from Ojai Avenue to Sierra Road, and 350 yards on East Oak Street, from North Montgomery Street to Drown Avenue.
It has been about 10 years since the city has been able to dedicate funding for a capitol improvement program, according to Greg Grant, the city’s public works director.
“The city’s roadways are the city’s major asset, but to maintain them is very costly,” Grant said. “We have been severely lacking in street improvements because we haven’t had a lot of money to put toward capitol improvements in a long time. Our main focus is going to be street improvements.”
The improvements for the two roadways are expected to cost approximately $174,000, according to Grant.
The sections of El Paseo Road and East Oak Street were selected for the repaving improvements because they were rated the worst in Ojai based on their traffic flow and use. Five additional streets, that received the same grade, are expected to receive similar improvements by next summer.
Steve Weed, a resident on East Oak Street, looks forward to the repaving. He said the area has needed improvements for a while.
“If you ask anybody, anybody, they will say ‘Oh happy day,’” Weed said. “It’s just really self-evident if you just drive down the street. There are little potholes everywhere.”
The city contracted J & H Engineering, of Camarillo, to apply new asphalt overlay on the two roads. The overlay will be rubberized with recycled tires making it longer lasting and 10 times more flexible than standard asphalt. The added flexibility helps lengthen the time it takes for the surface to erode due to weather or traffic use. It will also help reduce road noise.
Residents, businesses and schools along the roadways will be notified a week before the paving starts. The department expects limited closures and will keep one lane open and redirect traffic during the repaving.
“Closures should be minor, couple days for each street,” Grant said. “We will make sure to maintain the flow of traffic in those areas.”
The city has applied for a federal grant to continue its repaving efforts along the five remaining roadways next year. Expected to be fully funded through the grant, those improvements are expected to cost approximately $440,000. The streets included are Pleasant Avenue, Bristol Road, Summer Street, Aliso Street and Fox Street.
Oct. 30, 2012