April 17, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Rialto City Council Approves $427K for Baseline Road Median Fence Project to Enhance Safety Near Eisenhower High

2 min read

The forthcoming fence will be placed on the meridian on W Baseline Road, between N Lilac Avenue and N Willow Avenue, alongside Eisenhower High School; a frequent location for vehicle/pedestrian accidents.

In a unanimous decision on March 26, the Rialto City Council awarded a construction contract to Leonida Builders Inc. for the Baseline Road Median Fence Improvement Project, aimed at bolstering safety near Eisenhower High School.

The $427,760 project will feature a steel post fence, similar to the one near Colton High School on Valley Boulevard, according to Tim Sullivan, Director of Maintenance and Facilities. “The fence will be steel and powder coated, extending approximately 337 feet to complete installation between Willow Avenue and Lilac Avenue,” Sullivan detailed.

Mayor Deborah Robertson expressed her support for the project, emphasizing its importance for student safety. “This fence is a critical safety measure to protect our students from the dangers of jaywalking and oncoming traffic,” Robertson stated.

Councilmember Rafael Trujillo raised concerns about the fence’s height and its ability to withstand car accidents, a common occurrence in the area. “We are extending the raised median towards the corner of Baseline Road and Willow Avenue, and the fence will be placed on this raised median. While we can’t predict every incident, but the aim is to reduce the likelihood of accidents,” Sullivan explained.

Echoing the sentiment, Councilmember Ed Scott highlighted the long-standing need for this safety measure. “This project has been in the works for over 15 years. It’s designed to protect our students and encourage them to use crosswalks instead of risking their lives crossing busy streets,” Scott said.

The fence will also feature reflectors and yellow paint to enhance visibility for drivers at night. “Safety is our top priority, and these features will help alert drivers to the presence of the fence, especially after dark,” Sullivan added.

The Baseline Road Median Fence Improvement Project is part of the city’s broader efforts to improve road safety. In 2016, the city applied for a grant from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) following a pedestrian fatality on Baseline Road. The HSIP aims to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on public roads, with specific targets for each state.

The project’s funding strategy has also led to significant cost savings. “By separating the fence project from the larger median construction project, we’ve managed to reduce construction costs by $164,640,” Sullivan noted.

The median extension and fence are expected to deter midblock and uncontrolled pedestrian crossings, thereby increasing safety in the area. The project does not include a landscaping component due to the width constraints of the median extension.

Construction is set to begin in the coming months, with the community eagerly anticipating the enhanced safety measures near Eisenhower High School.

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