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By SHEL SEGAL
After several years in the planning and building stages, Rosemead Boulevard in Temple City officially has a new look to it.
Hundreds of people turned out on Saturday morning to celebrate the finishing of the popular thoroughfare with music, arts and crafts and just a general festive mood.
Ali Cayir, one of the engineers on the project, said just about everything on the street is new.
“Today, we’re basically celebrating the new street, new pavement and sidewalks,” Cayir said. “There’s art work and new signals and banners. It’s a beautiful project.”
Cayir added much time has passed from the initial planning stages of the project until its completion.
“The project has been approximately a year and a half under construction,” he said. “But it was about another two years before that in the design. It’s been a team effort for everyone. It’s a great project.”
But the project did come with a hefty bill, Cayir said.
“Construction cost us approximately $16 million, but there were other additions related to utilities and other services, so it was a $20 million project overall,” he said.
However, he added the city of Temple City was not on the hook for the vast majority of the project.
“Most of it was actually outside funds from state and federal agencies,” he said. “The city was very proud to be pursuing (these funds) from different funding sources.”
Cayir also said that the current street “will last our lifetime” and was reconstructed for a number of reasons.
“One is to improve the street,” he said. “Not just for cars, but for pedestrians who can use the streets, walk on the sidewalk and can enjoy the art work and the scenery. We have lots of trees and art work by the sidewalk. And more importantly, we have bike lanes and a median separating bikes from the traffic. They’re very friendly and safe bike lanes, too.”
Fernando Vizcarra, a member of the Temple City city council, said he’s “extremely proud” of the finished project.
“We and the contractors did an outstanding job,” Vizcarra said. “It’s beautiful. It has brought a whole new look to Temple City.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be followed via Twitter @segallanded.)
Photos courtesy Jerry Jambazian