Via Princessa extension project advances with City Council vote

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The Via Princessa roadway project, which would create an east-to-west connection for commuters in the Santa Clarita Valley, reached a step closer to construction on Tuesday following a vote from the City Council. 

Council members unanimously approved a right-of-way acquisition agreement between the city and ETCR Inc., the developer of the project, meaning the company can now proceed with the preparation of all design documents. 

“The action approved by the City Council will allow the city to accept the dedication of grading easements, slope easements and road right-of-way from the property owners earlier than through the development process,” Damon Letz, an assistant city engineer, said via email. “Securing these easements and right-of-way reduces the potential for delays during a standard acquisition process.” 

The project would extend Via Princessa for about 1.2 miles from Sheldon Avenue to Golden Valley Road in an effort to improve traffic circulation. Construction will consist of a six-lane highway with a 14-foot raised landscaped median, a 10-foot sidewalk on each side, and a 12-foot, two-lane bike path along the south side, according to a city news release. 

“The connection of Via Princessa has been on the maps for decades and it’s another critical link to improve transportation throughout the city,” Mayor Cameron Smyth said on Thursday. “Building roads, particularly in a community like Santa Clarita that has different typography and a riverbed through the middle of the city, is not easy, but it’s important that we move forward to connect every link we can until that road is completed.”  

Tuesday’s vote marked the second of three major parts for the completion of the project, said Letz. 

“The process to construct the Via Princessa roadway project can be summarized in three large phases: design, right-of-way acquisition and construction,” he said.  

The next step would be to prepare the plans and specifications of the project, he added. Completion is anticipated in spring 2021, according to the city agenda report.  

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