Recently completed, upcoming and potential city projects in the near and distant future were all on the agenda during an early morning presentation this week.
About 40 people attended the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Wake Up! Newport meeting on Thursday with guest speaker Dave Webb, the city’s public works director.
A lot is going on in the city at the moment, Webb said.
“There’s so much to do here… A little too much,” he joked.
Chamber President Steve Rosansky said the presentation was an “exhaustive” list of projects, covering the entire city.
Always a popular topic, Webb mentioned the Balboa Island sea wall. He said that a cap extension for the big Balboa Island sea wall is possibly coming soon.
“We’re seeing a lot of overtopping and splashing,” Webb said. “We’re concerned about storms.”
City Council plans to discuss the issue during their meeting Tuesday. Staff hopes the council approves the cap extension and work can start it in the next few months, Webb noted.
They hope to add a nine inch concrete cap to the seawall, Webb explained, to help prevent the sea water from spilling over onto the island.
Whether it’s referred to as global warming or something else and whether or not a person believes in it, officials have seen a rise in sea level of about eight to 10 inches over the last 100 years, Webb said.
“We have seen a rise in the water level,” Webb said. “We know there’s something going on.”
They’ll continue to monitor it and decide whether to hold at that height or extend again at a later date in the next 10 to 15 years.
Webb also pointed out that the city is currently constructing four pickleball courts at Bonita Canyon Sports Park. On April 25, City Council approved construction, which began in June and is expected to finish by September. The foundation of the courts is already in, Webb said.
Pickleball is a relatively new sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It’s an “exciting” new sport, Webb said.
Over the past three years the topic of the pickleball courts has been batted around quite a bit. After a trial period, testing, heading through several Parks, Beaches and Recreation meetings, and working with residents to address complaints, sound surveys, and more, the pickleball courts are currently being installed at the park near the Port Streets.
“This will be a popular place,” Webb said. “I’m sure there’s a long waiting list (to play).”
Another near future project Webb mentioned is the CdM library and fire station, also known as the “firbrary.”
There is still some debate over “when and what” the project will include.
“We’re still working on some of the details,” Webb said. “I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resolve them and get going on that.”
Staff hopes to restart work on that project in the next few months, Webb added.
Webb noted that rehabilitation of the Newport Pier will also be coming up fairly soon. There have been a lot of structural problems with the building, he said, so the restaurant structure will be demolished.
“We don’t think we’ll put a building back,” Webb confirmed.
Bluewater Grill was previously planned to occupy the restaurant at the end of the pier. The city was negotiating with them, Webb said, but it didn’t pan out.
“It just turned out that that wasn’t going to work the way they planned,” Webb said.
It could come back in the future, he added.
The city is also working on the Central Avenue pier and public plaza near Lido Village. The pier should be completed by October and the plaza around December, Webb noted.
There are a number of other projects the city is currently working on, Webb said, including an apparatus bay replacement for Mariners’ fire station and Newport Heights sidewalk improvements.
Other future projects either on the near or far horizon include: Newport Elementary park field replacement, traffic signal modernization, a traffic bypass plan in Corona del Mar, replacement of the Lido fire station, lower harbor dredging, Lower Sunset View Park, Marine Avenue rehabilitation and more.
Recently completed projects Webb discussed include: Semeniuk Slough dredging, Big Canyon water quality and habitat restoration, pavement rehabilitation on MacArthur Boulevard and other city streets, two phases of the grand canal dredging, and more.
He also mentioned the recent reconstruction and grand re-opening of the Park Avenue Bridge.
For more information, visit newportbeachca.gov and newportbeach.com.