The City of Georgetown is initiating a public involvement process for the Austin Avenue Bridges Project. The first public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 31 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth Street. This is the first of a series of meetings planned to engage and involve the public in the project for the bridges that span the north and south forks of the San Gabriel River just north of the downtown Square.
The purpose of this project is to develop a long-term plan for the Austin Avenue Bridges by evaluating possible alternatives to address safety, community, and mobility needs, ultimately developing a preferred alternative for the bridges. The bridges were constructed in 1939 and have exceeded their design life. Deterioration has occurred over time and will continue with increased traffic in the area.
This study will evaluate a number of alternatives including short- and long-term solutions. The study will balance considerations such as safety, historical significance, cost, impacts to property owners and businesses, and multi-modal access including connections to San Gabriel Park. These alternative analyses, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, will include, at a minimum, no action, provide alternative route(s), maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement.
The City recognizes the importance of working closely with the community throughout this project to identify solutions that the community values. Public input will be collected and incorporated in each phase of the study.
“City staff and our elected officials recognize the value these bridges have for the community in terms of providing safe travel in and out of our downtown,” says Nat Waggoner, Austin Avenue Bridges Project manager for the City. “The question is, how do we preserve our history and support this corridor as a gateway to our thriving retail stores and businesses, both today and in the future. We have a big task ahead to determine the best solution that supports those quality of life issues for our community. Working with the public and downtown property owners to collect input is a major part of this project.”
This is the first of four public meetings planned. The project team also is available for small meetings with individuals during the project. The Austin Avenue Bridges Project public involvement process began in January and is anticipated to be complete before the end of the year.
All project materials and public meeting materials will be available online at austinave.georgetown.org. Throughout the project there will be opportunities for the public to share comments and offer input.