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Glendale councilman, public works department receive awards for infrastructure efforts

Glendale councilman, public works department receive awards for infrastructure efforts
The Southern California chapter of the American Public Works Assn. will honor Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, who is a Metro Transportation Authority board member and second vice-chair of Metrolink, as the 2017 Top Elected Official. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

The city of Glendale announced Monday that the public works nonprofit the American Public Works Assn. will honor Councilman Ara Najarian and the city’s public works department with two awards recognizing their respective infrastructure efforts.

The Southern California chapter of the association will present the awards to Najarian and the public works department at its annual awards luncheon on Thursday.

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Najarian will receive the 2017 Top Elected Official Award, while the city’s Proposition 84 Green Streets Project — which turned some street surfaces into landscaped spaces that manage stormwater runoff — will be named Project of the Year.

“The award means so much because the public works organizations are the ones that are building our infrastructure,” Najarian said. “Out of all the local elected officials they have to pick from I’m really excited that someone saw that I was a solid local elected official that was improving infrastructure and hopefully, in the end, making this county and region better.”

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Najarian has led or advocated for a number of infrastructure projects at the local level as a city councilman and at the county level as a board member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

He said he credits his work alongside council members for the honor, including projects such as the opening of the Fairmont Avenue flyover bridge, which links northwest Glendale to Dreamworks Studios, in 2010 and the decadelong effort to make Glendale one of three cities in the county with a railroad crossing quiet zone.

Since joining the Metro board in 2006, Najarian has been working to connect the city to the Metro rail through a Bus Rapid Transit System. He is also part of plans to create a streetcar route connecting the Glendale Transportation Center in the southern part of the city to the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

He is the current representative of the North County/San Fernando Valley sector on the MTA board — the second-longest serving board member — and second vice chair of Metrolink.

“These are all mega-projects that very few regions in the country have. I’m honored to have that opportunity to be a part of those big decisions that will change L.A. County,” Najarian said.

The Proposition 84 Green Streets Project was recently completed and features stormwater management via resurfaced pavement on Harvard Street between Brand Boulevard and Isabel Street as well as Louise Street between Wilson Avenue and Maple Street. The project also improved walkability in the area, according to city officials.

Curb extensions, Bioswales, mid-clock crossings and bike lanes were also part of the Proposition 84-funded project, according to city documents. Sarkis Oganesyan is listed as the project’s manager.

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