El Monte Council Kicks off Efforts to Improve Infrastructure at Valley Mall
By Valerie Martinez
August 22, 2013 • 296 views
El Monte -
In the City’s continuous efforts to beautify, improve and stimulate business at Valley Mall, the El Monte City Council has approved the first phase of the Downtown Improvement Project, which will invest $485,000 in new handicap accessible ramps, sidewalks and landscaping between Santa Anita Avenue and Ramona Boulevard.
The City Council at its Aug. 6 meeting unanimously approved the Valley Mall project, which sets in motion plans to rehabilitate stretches of pedestrian paths and walkways along Valley Mall.
Mayor Pro Tem Norma Macias, who has been instrumental in spearheading efforts to improve Valley Mall, lauded the project as one that would revitalize the downtown area and fix basic infrastructure.
“We have a responsibility to maintain our public right-of-ways and sidewalks, provide upgraded handicapped access and address the beautification of a struggling downtown,” Macias said. “I’m really happy that this project is finally moving forward.”
Under Phase 1 of the project, up to 42 select intersections that do not have ADA ramps or have ramps that do not meet current standards will be upgraded with new ADA/pedestrian curb ramps to improve accessibility.
The total cost will be $485,000, which is comprised of $400,000 in Proposition 1B transportation funds and $85,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
These special funds will be used to eliminate a portion of the numerous repair requests from business owners and residents who patronize Valley Mall, a row of shops and restaurants in historic downtown.
Macias has long been determined to improve Valley Mall, successfully securing funding for new lighting, landscaping and sidewalk repair, as well as a Master Plan that will guide how the City of El Monte will shape downtown over the next 20 years.
“This has been one of my top priorities for the City and Valley Mall, and my hope is to also attract businesses to this once thriving location,” Macias said. “Ensuring that our sidewalks are safe for residents and patrons will hopefully create a pleasant atmosphere where they can enjoy and shop.”
A master plan – which will evaluate the possibilities for outdoor eating areas, a farmer’s market and other programs at Valley Mall – will be presented at the Sept. 3 Council meeting.