By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
The city is slated to buy land for the future Hosking Road interchange, but it's not because Bass Pro Shops is coming anytime soon.
Instead, the $1 million purchase of 6.7 acres at the northwest corner of Hosking and Highway 99 is due to a "very willing seller" who lowered the price, said Raul Rojas, Bakersfield's public works director.
The seller is 2310 Hosking Rd. LLC, managed by Joseph Gergen.
The interchange will be needed if plans for a massive commercial center -- or the Bass Pro Shops -- once slated for the east side of 99 ever resurface.
The City Council will vote on whether to approve the purchase Wednesday night. The council meets at 5:15 p.m. at 1501 Truxtun Ave.
A flawed traffic study inadvertently brought good news for plans to upgrade the 24th Street corridor.
A revised analysis determined the intersection of 24th and Oak streets doesn't need a new interchange and can get by with street-level Improvements. That saves $15 million, according to a report from Rojas' office.
The savings should more than offset cost increases from expanding the project's scope -- also a result of revised analysis -- to west of Highway 99 and east to M Street, Rojas said. The earlier study only called for widening of 24th to about D Street.
The widening of 24th Street will mean re-striping lanes, not physically expanding the busy roadway. Both 24th and 23rd streets will eventually have four lanes.
The flawed study was done a long time ago by URS Corp., Rojas said. The council will vote Wednesday on whether to grant RBF Consulting an extra $632,000 for engineering design work needed for the corridor's upgrade.
The future Greystone Neighborhood Park at Harris Road and Mountain Vista Drive is slated to move forward. The city council will vote Wednesday on whether to accept a $1.8 million bid from S.C. Anderson Inc. for the 8-acre project next to the city's Fire Station 14. Basketball courts, pedestrian walkways, tot lots, a splash pad, picnic areas, a bathroom and a parking lot are planned. Costs will be paid entirely from park funds.
A $10.8 million state grant for redevelopment projects will be accepted by the city council Wednesday. The money will help pay for various items around the downtown Mill Creek project area including a parking structure at 19th Street and a host of landscaping, lighting, sidewalk and other improvements from Central Park to the South Mill Creek area around California Avenue and S Street.
The grant funds are from Proposition 1C, a voter-approved $2.9 billion bond measure in 2006 meant to support housing and development programs.
Separately, $1.3 million of federal funds will be allocated to help build the 67-unit 19th Street Senior Plaza apartments, an affordable complex for seniors, just east of Mill Creek Linear Park.
City crews will remove dead wood along the Kern River Parkway -- also known as the bike path -- and the Truxtun Extension Tuesday through Thursday, the city reported.
A road reconstruction project started Monday on Old River Road, between Ming Avenue and Stockdale Highway, has reduced traffic to one lane in each direction. The city is advising drivers to expect delays and take other routes if possible. The work will continue until late September.
This summer's Movies in the Park lineup includes Hitchcock Movie Night on July 22, "All About Eve" on July 29, Shirley Temple's "Curly Top" on Aug. 5 (there'll be a Shirley Temple look-alike contest), Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" on Aug. 12 and the 1966 version of "Batman" on Aug. 19 (which will feature a superhero costume contest).
The free screenings, sponsored by Barber Honda, start at 7 p.m., rain or shine, at the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre in the Park at River Walk, located at Stockdale Highway and Buena Vista Road.