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Contract to narrow lanes on Bayside Drive goes before Newport council Tuesday

Contract to narrow lanes on Bayside Drive goes before Newport council Tuesday
Bayside Drive is a four-lane road in Newport Beach that some residents say is plagued by speeding and reckless driving. The City Council will consider committing to narrowing lanes and adding medians in an attempt to calm the traffic. (File Photo)

Newport Beach is preparing to spend nearly $3 million to narrow lanes on Bayside Drive and rehabilitate segments of nearby Jamboree Road and Marine Avenue.

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The City Council will consider a construction contract for the long-awaited work when it meets Tuesday, potentially wrapping up nearly three years of planning and at-times intense resident interest as the city has sketched out potential overhauls to the curving, four-lane stretch of Bayside Drive between Coast Highway and Marine Avenue. Neighbors say the road is beset by speeding and reckless driving.

Area residents were especially split over a once-proposed traffic-calming roundabout on Bayside at Harbor Island Road. The city also considered removing lanes entirely.

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The council ultimately nixed the traffic circle and lane removal when it voted in May 2017 to narrow traffic lanes without removing any, add raised and flush medians and close gaps in the sidewalk and bike lanes.

Tuesday’s agenda also covers repaving Jamboree Road between Coast Highway and Bayside and repaving Marine Avenue between Bayside and North Bay Front Alley on Balboa Island. The city had planned those projects for next fiscal year but bundled them with the larger Bayside project for cost efficiencies and to help mitigate community impact.

If the council agrees with staff’s recommendation to award Tustin-based GMC Engineering the $2.9-million construction contract, work would begin in December or January and be complete by May, the city says.

Balboa Island utility undergrounding

Utilities could be getting closer to going underground on the western swath of Balboa Island.

The City Council will hold a public hearing and resident ballot tabulation for what may become Assessment District 113, which covers a triangular area bounded by North Bay Front, South Bay Front and Agate Avenue. If a majority of property owners agree, they would be assessed roughly $6.2 million to bury their electrical and phone wires — an estimated $29,000 per parcel.

Property owners also would foot their own bills to connect to the grid once the utilities are in place.

If the district is formed, utility companies would spend about two years designing the underground system. Construction would begin in 2021 and be completed in 2023.

Tuesday’s council meeting starts at 6 p.m. with a study session, followed by the regular session at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive.

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