'Elaborate' parking-lot project approved in La Cañada

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council approved on Monday a bid from the Sylmar-based FS Construction Company to upgrade the Caltrans overpass parking lot across from Memorial Park, the current home of the weekly La Cañada Farmers Market.

About $183,000 was budgeted for the project, but costs rose to $310,000 as city staff added more aesthetic details and lot features throughout the planning phase, city engineer Ying Kwan explained Monday.

“Originally, the project started out as a simple maintenance project, but over the years, it kind of morphed into an entire overhaul of the parking lot,” he said. “The city wanted to beautify it and make it more aesthetically pleasing.”

The new plans include landscaping areas, irrigation and a rock wall with wrought iron fencing at the top. The 115-foot wall, which will be sheltered and illuminated, will create a display place for market merchants and other advertisers to display city-approved signs and banners.

FS Construction was the lowest bidder at $257,610, but another $52,390 was required for a contingency fund to cover any unforeseen cost overruns, Kwan said.

To cover the additional $127,000 needed for completion, Kwan advised Council that additional money could be taken out of the city’s Proposition C fund, which contains money leftover from a transit tax levied in 1990.

“It’s a worthy project,” Mayor Pro Tem Don Voss said. “I realize it has become more elaborate as time has done by. (But) this is going to be a very attractive value-added project for the city.”

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