Airport moves to vacate street from public rolls

It took more than 25 years, but a section of roadway in the middle of two pieces of land that Bob Hope Airport officials bought in the late 1980s will finally no longer be a public street.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority purchased two parcels, called the “Hazel Martin” and “Old Trappers” properties, in 1988 so it could widen the taxiway on the north side of the airfield.

The widening allowed aircraft to pass each other rather than having to pull onto the runway if the order of take-offs changed.

However, there is a portion of Keswick Street which runs in the middle of the two parcels and, while closed to traffic, it was still considered a public street.

Keswick intersects with Arvilla Avenue and San Fernando Road in that area, which is in the city of Los Angeles.

Airport officials started the process to remove the street from the public rolls soon after the initial purchase. The Los Angeles City Council, at the time, required several improvements be made along San Fernando Road before that occurred.

However, Los Angeles officials were “adverse to the airport at that time and the vacation process stalled out,” said Bob Anderson, the airport’s director of engineering and planning, during an airport authority meeting on Tuesday.

“In 2011, recognizing a better attitude of the city toward the airport, and the community toward the airport, staff re-initiated the effort to vacate the street,” Anderson said.

So, after Bob Hope staff worked with Los Angeles city officials, the airport authority on Tuesday approved a $299,997 contract with Los Angeles-based Tyner Paving Co. for a project along San Fernando Road that will include constructing curbs and gutters, paving and improving sidewalks.

Anderson said three or four street lights will also have to be installed as well as some modifications to traffic signals.

Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director, said the improvements needed to be done because, if Keswick remained a public street, it would impede making any improvements in that area.

“Until the vacation is completed, the city of Los Angeles would not issue any further permits,” he said.

At this time, no additional improvements are in the works.

But the work will bring the decades-long project to a conclusion, said airport spokesman Victor Gill after the meeting.

“It’s a matter of closure,” he said.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.


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