Some big changes are coming to a busy stretch of Grand Avenue in Grover Beach.
The Grover Beach City Council voted on Monday to redesign West Grand Avenue between 4th and 8th Streets.
Changes in the works include medians with landscaping as well as sidewalk and bike lane upgrades.
“It’ll have its own character, but it’ll fit in with the overall character of West Grand Avenue,” said Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee.
This is part of a years-long, step-by-step project to improve the look of the stretch of roadway.
Improvements have already been made between Highway 1 and 4th Street as well as a three-block stretch of Grand Avenue between 8th and 11th Streets.
“We’re kicking off the project with the designer this week,” said Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson. “So we’re not wasting any time after council approval of the project.”
The next phase of the project will fill in the gap and is expected to cost around $3 million.
City leaders say the goal is to improve safety and walkability while bringing new businesses to the area.
“With this project, we’re really trying to do all three: to have a safe street, a walkable street, and something that spurs investment into the west end of Grover Beach,” said Mayor Lee.
The four-block stretch of West Grand Avenue is showing its age with some cracks in the road and sidewalks. Some commercial buildings sit vacant, but the city hopes to change that.
“We’re looking to get some mixed-use feel. We are looking to try to get affordable housing or at least affordable by design into this area,” said Mayor Lee.
The project is expected to get underway next year. City leaders say it will bring some major disruptions to the area.
“This will be a project that has significant disruptions to vehicle traffic, to business access and we will ask for the community’s patience on making improvements to this very important commercial corridor,” said Bronson.
The city is working with businesses to gather input and warm them in advance of any disruptions.
As for what’s next, the first design will come out by the end of the year.
A final design will be approved early next year, and construction will begin soon after.
Funding for the project is coming from the city’s general fund. The city says it will seek grant money to offset the impact to the city’s budget.