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Test barriers on East Coast Highway to be removed

Newport Beach City Council also voted to repair Central Library wall, among other things.

October 24, 2012|By Jill Cowan

The Newport Beach City Council voted to remove a temporary "pinch point" in Corona del Mar and pay more than $720,000 to repair a Central Library wall and remind community members about this Sunday's Memorial Bike Ride at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

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Pinch point

The city will remove temporary barriers that narrow the road near East Coast Highway and MacArthur Boulevard in Corona del Mar, but the council stopped short of scrapping the changes permanently.

The pinch point, or the spot where the southbound East Coast Highway lanes merge, was moved closer to Avocado Avenue on a summer trial basis to see if it would be possible to incorporate more outdoor seating and landscaping along the highway. The test barriers were installed in June as part of the concept plan for a Corona del Mar Entryway Improvement project.

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Staff reports found traffic congestion did increase, and resident feedback has been negative.

However, the council decided to hear an official report about the move's impacts in two weeks.

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Library repair

The council voted to spend $720,913 to repair a water-damaged clerestory wall at the Central Library. The project was added as an amendment to the Newport Beach Civic Center Construction Contract. According to a staff report, the wall on the library's north face was found to have been improperly waterproofed when it was built.

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Landscaping maintenance contract

The council voted to combine the services provided by two landscape and roadside maintenance outsourcing contracts set to expire in November. The new contract, a five-year agreement with Park West Landscape management to maintain medians, roadsides and Newport Coast parks, is expected to save about $100,000 per year.

The staff report noted that the project is exempt from prevailing wage requirements, which the report says will save the city money, because Newport is a charter city. The maintenance will cost about $1 million per year.

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Emergency supply storage

The Newport Beach Community Emergency Response Team was authorized to store equipment at Irvine Terrace Park. The group was recognized as the top community response group in the country by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2011.

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Memorial Bike Ride

Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said more than 500 people have signed up to join the city's Memorial Bike Ride Sunday. The ride, which will raise money for the city's bike safety improvement fund, will head out at 8 a.m. from near Whole Foods at Fashion Island. The official route is about 1.2 miles, but an unofficial ride will continue all the way to Long Beach, Daigle said.

jill.cowan@latimes.com

Twitter: @jillcowan

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