Atascadero’s long facelift is nearing an end

Courtesy of city of Atascadero

The new street paving and bridgework now under way in Atascadero comprise the last leg in a 10-year project designed to freshen up downtown and improve its visibility and safety.

This time, decorative elements will be added to provide visual connections between the Colony Square and Carlton Hotel areas, according to the city.

The phase also includes adding new lighting and decorative sidewalks on the Atascadero Creek Bridge over El Camino Real.

El Camino Real from Rosario to San Jacinto avenues will also be repaved and a bike lane added.

The new bridge sidewalk will show architectural elements from the original bridge that Atascadero founder E.G. Lewis built after establishing his colony in 1913. Construction is expected to wrap up on the $652,000 project by the end of September.

Drivers are advised to use caution in the construction areas. Crews will try to restrict the level of dust released.

One side of the sidewalk on Atascadero Creek Bridge will remain open during the two-phase bridge project so pedestrians can have access to the other side.

Access to local businesses will remain open during construction.

The parking lanes on the Atascadero Creek Bridge as well as on the stretch of El Camino Real from Rosario to San Jacinto avenues will be closed during the work. The city will post the closures in advance.

Sosa Construction of Santa Maria secured the bid for the work.

Past improvements, which began in 2003, include:

Phase I, 2003: Added a median on El Camino Real from Entrada Avenue to Traffic Way, curb extensions, a raised crosswalk on El Camino Real and decorative sidewalks around the area.

Phase II, part one, summer 2008: Included new streetscape sidewalks, trees, decorative street lighting, sidewalk furniture, drainage improvements, paving and installation of a high efficiency irrigation system on Traffic Way.

Phase II, part two, summer 2010: Included rehabilitation of the pedestrian tunnel under Highway 101 with new lights, fencing and disabled access; paving El Camino Real from Rosario to Highway 41; removing one traffic lane from a portion of El Camino Real to accommodate new bike lanes and a center turn lane.

The projects were financed with federal economic stimulus funds and the city’s Redevelopment Agency.