Dockweiler Drive extension returns to City Council

After approving plans for the Dockweiler Drive extension a year ago, the Santa Clarita City Council is scheduled to revisit the topic Tuesday to consider awarding a $3 million design contract. 

Thousand Oaks-based MNS Engineers Inc., the recommended firm to execute the design proposal, would be tasked with all reports, plans and specifications to complete the roadway design and permitting, according to the city staff report. 

Council members will also look into authorizing a design services agreement with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority for more than $241,000 for services such as project management, design review, and railroad crossing upgrade designs. 

Dockweiler Drive, constructed in the early 1990s, currently connects to Sierra Highway on the east and ends west of Valle del Oro. The extension project aims, in part, to reduce congestion on Newhall Avenue. 

“The extension of Dockweiler Drive is a critical east-west link that would provide a through connection from Sierra Highway to Railroad Avenue,” the staff report reads. 

The proposed design would connect Dockweiler Drive to Railroad Avenue at 13th Street. This alignment would require improvements to both Arch Street and 13th Street, as well as a fully upgraded railroad crossing on 13th Street and Railroad Avenue, according to the staff report. 

Improvements would consist of a four-lane roadway with a 12-foot raised landscape median, a 13-foot-wide sidewalk, or parkway, and a 5-foot-wide bike lane on each side. 

The extension project has garnered a mixed bag of opinions among members of the community. When the City Council approved the extension, dozens spoke out at City Hall in support and opposition. Some opponents felt the addition would bring in more cars to an already-crowded neighborhood, while some supporters said the extension would offer first responders another access point for improved service. 

Also on Tuesday, council members will look at either supporting or opposing a handful of proposed pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 330 and Assembly Bill 1286. 

SB 330 aims to take on the state’s housing crisis by speeding up housing development. The bill, if passed, would restrict certain local land use authority including zoning, parking and design standards and would take effect until Jan. 1, 2025. The city’s staff is recommending the City Council oppose the proposed bill. 

AB 1286 would require cities and counties to adopt safety rules and micro-mobility companies would have to comply with those rules. The bill would also require providers to maintain minimum insurance to protect riders and others should an injury occur. 

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