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Wheels on bikeway project keep turning

December 14, 2002

Laura Sturza

While gears on the Chandler Bikeway Project have needed a steady

stream of grease to keep plans moving for the past 10 years,

officials hope the new year will signal the start of construction.

"We like to think that January is truly breaking ground with the

removal of the rails and ties," Burbank Principal Planner Joy Forbes

said.

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The City Council approved plans at its Tuesday meeting for JDK

Railroad Materials to dismantle the track.

It's the latest development on a bike path that has posed an

uphill climb for city officials who needed the approval of the

Metropolitan Transit Authority because the parties co-own the

property.

Landscaping design, funding and leasing agreements were all part

of negotiations -- with the most recent approval coming in October.

The path will run two miles along Chandler Boulevard from Clybourn

Avenue to Mariposa Avenue, and continue for another mile from

Mariposa Avenue to the downtown Burbank MetroLink station.

"I've been getting a lot of calls from residents and they're just

really excited and they can't wait for the opening," Forbes said. "I

think this will be one construction project where we don't get a lot

of complaints."

The work by JDK costs the city nothing because the company

recycles the materials and is compensated by selling them. Wooden

ties from the former Burbank/Chatsworth Branch line that can be

salvaged will be reinstalled along the Fillmore & Western Railway

Company line, JDK General Manager Dan Huffman said.

Forbes expects construction to be underway by July with a grand

opening planned for February 2004. The project still needs final

approval from Caltrans and one last agreement signed with MTA that

calls for the city to install the conduit for fiber optics the MTA

will use for its bus communications.

The total cost of the project is $2.7 million, with $1.7 million

coming from Burbank and the rest in grant money from the MTA.

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