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Recreational path sought

City would use grant money toward quarter-mile strip that would include dog stations, trees and shrubs.

June 30, 2010|By Bill Kisliuk, bill.kisliuk@latimes.com

A landscaped recreational path will wind through a south Burbank neighborhood by next year if county and city officials have their way.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to seek bids to build a quarter-mile recreational path along the Burbank west channel from Victory Boulevard to Verdugo Road. The channel cuts through a residential and industrial neighborhood near Lake Street.

The recreational path for pedestrians and bicyclists would be built on the residential east side of the channel, with landscaping to beautify the western bank, said Marybell Leyland, a project specialist with the city of Burbank.

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The project is estimated to cost up to $1.4 million. The city will pay 52% of the cost by using money from a federal community development block grant, and the county will pick up the rest, according to a project report.

In a letter from Los Angeles Public Works Director Gail Farber to the Board of Supervisors, the bidding will close Aug. 24, with work set to begin in February 2011. The path should be done in August 2011.

The so-called Lake-Alameda Landscaped Access Path strip will feature a concrete pathway, lighting, trees, shrubs and groundcover, doggy stations and trash cans.

Last year the county put the project out to bid, but in January supervisors rejected all the offers.

Leyland said nearly all the applications from many would-be contractors failed to meet a technical requirement for federal projects, which was triggered by the block grant money.

Kerjon Lee of Los Angeles County Department of Public Works said all but one of the bidders missed the mark, prompting the county to start over.

Burbank Community Development Director Greg Herrmann said the process leading up the new round of bidding "hasn't been perfect," but that the project will cost less than the $1.6 million envisioned when the path was originally planned in 2007.

"Construction costs are way down," Herrmann said, citing the increased competition in the struggling construction sector.

Government projects are regularly coming in for between 15% and 20% less than original estimates, he added.

"In a down economy, everyone wants to work," Herrmann said.

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