Route 66 Sporting New Pavement in Rialto, CA

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Route 66 is repaved in the city of Rialto. The Street called Foothill Blvd looks better and drives smother. It is one of many infrastructure improvments in Rialto, CA

“This is one of our city’s highest priorities,” said City Engineer Ahmad Ansari. “Route 66 runs throughout our city, and we want people to see that Rialto is a nice place to live and do business.”

Route 66 is looking new again, now that the City of Rialto has taken over maintenance of the two-mile stretch running through its municipal boundaries.

At the end of October, Rialto will finish a three-month project to repair pavement along the entire stretch of Route 66 within its city limits, which runs along Foothill Boulevard from Maple Avenue to Pepper Avenue. The city awarded a $3.465 million contract to All-American Asphalt of Corona, which began construction July 26.

The project also involves installing bus pads (a rectangular area of concrete, on the street for buses to stop) adding some sidewalks, curbs and gutters and repairing storm drains.

“This is one of our city’s highest priorities,” said City Engineer Ahmad Ansari. “Route 66 runs throughout our city, and we want people to see that Rialto is a nice place to live and do business.”

The City of Rialto entered into a second phase of its Foothill Paving Project on Tuesday, Sept. 28 when the City Council awarded to Ian Davidson Landscape Architecture of Riverside a $62,620 contract for design of entry monuments that will be placed near Route 66 at the east and west city limits. The design will include landscaped areas of 100 to 200 feet around each monument.

Phase Two will also include four new bus shelters along Foothill Boulevard between Sycamore and Willow avenues, improving the intersection of Riverside Drive and Foothill Boulevard and new street name signs for Foothill Boulevard throughout its course in Rialto.

Foothill Boulevard has a long history dating back to the early 20th century when it was part of the legendary U.S. Route 66 that connected Rialto and many other then-small towns between Los Angeles and Chicago.

Later, the Foothill Boulevard portion of Route 66 was officially known as California Highway 66, and maintained by the California Department of Transportation. It was known then as an “urban highway,” that is a major street serving a city’s commercial area.

In 2008, CalTrans gave Rialto’s portion of Route 66 to the city, and paid the city $1.85 million to take care of past due street maintenance. Part of this $1.85 million is being used for the paving project, while the rest will be used for future needs.

“Urban highways require a lot of maintenance, so the state is working with California cities to give them local control of these important roads,” said Ansari. “Before it turns a highway over, CalTrans evaluates the roads maintenance needs, and negotiates a payment that is agreeable to CalTrans and the city.”

This is part of $8 million Rialto plans in street improvements during the Fiscal Year 2010-2011, which is July 1, 2010 through July 1, 2011. Rialto’s general fund partially pays for these projects, along with county, state and federal funds that must be spent on street improvements.

Other projects include:

  •     Pavement overlays on four to four and one-half miles of city streets, especially Linden Avenue north of Foothill Boulevard and two sections of Baseline Avenue, one extending from Riverside Avenue to the eastern city limits and one from Cedar Avenue to the western city limits.
  •     Repairing cracks and installing protective slurry seal coating on about one-fifth of the city’s streets.
  •     Designing West Coast Boulevard, a new street scheduled to be constructed in north Rialto during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
  •     Design phase of a widening project for Ayala Ave., also scheduled to be constructed in 2011-2012.
  •     Widening of Cedar Avenue in several locations between Etiwanda Avenue and Foothill Avenue.

Although the City of Rialto is located in the middle of one of the nation's fastest growing regions, it has retained a small town atmosphere and similar quality of life. Rialto is an ethnically diverse and progressive community, which boasts several unique community assets including its own police and fire departments, a city-owned racquet and fitness center, performing arts theater, a community center and senior center. Rialto is near mountains, beaches, deserts and other recreational areas.

Rialto's housing mix and home costs are some of the most affordable in the southern California region. First-time homebuyers find Rialto more affordable than almost any other comparable community in the region. Executives and those seeking high-end homes also find they can purchase much more home for their money in Rialto. This lower cost of living in Rialto also translates into more discretionary income for residents, thus benefiting retailers and service providers.

For more information about Rialto, go to http://www.ci.rialto.ca.us or call (909) 820-2525.

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