More Kicks For Route 66
A new pedestrian bridge connecting the final section of the Pacific Electric Trail will be just one of the amenities included as part of the Foothill Boulevard Improvement Project. Click here or on the image above to view a video preview of the project.From FastTrack, an exclusive business communiqué from the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency. FastTrack is published bimonthly to keep our business and industry partners up to date on business-related news and information in the City of Rancho Cucamonga. (http://www.rcrda.us)
Over the years, Foothill Boulevard (aka, Route 66) has realized some significant improvements including street and infrastructure enhancements, the placement of iconic Route 66 markers, landscaping and median work and improved signalization. And why not? After all, the approximately six-and-a-half-mile route is the main hub of retail/commercial activity in the community and generates a large portion of its sales tax revenue. Although much has been accomplished along various portions of the Boulevard, the best in the west (end, that is) is yet to come.
Often thought of as the “historic” part of Foothill Boulevard/Route 66, the west end has been a favorite for residents and visitors seeking some of the older historic businesses in town such as the Magic Lamp Inn, Red Hill Coffee Shop and the Sycamore Inn. Each of these restaurants has a unique history of its own and contribute to the Route 66 experience, which is about to get a lot better thanks to a multi-faceted improvement project.
Foothill Boulevard Phase III – stretching from Vineyard Avenue to Grove Avenue at the City’s western boundary – is currently under construction and is planned for completion by the end of the year. This much-needed project will provide a number of improvements for commuters and pedestrians, and highlight the historic significance of Foothill Boulevard.
Major street improvements will include widening the current roadway from four to six lanes and the installation of curbs, sidewalks, lighting and other improvements to ensure improved circulation and safer travel for motorists and pedestrians.
A significant part of the street widening will include the reconstruction of the old Pacific Electric Railroad Bridge that crosses above the Boulevard. Originally built more than 80 years ago as part of the Pacific Electric Rail line, the bridge is no longer used for train travel. But, it is a major part of the last phase of the City’s Pacific Electric Trail recreational route. As such, the old bridge has now been removed and will be replaced with a new pedestrian bridge to make the necessary connection that will complete the Pacific Electric Trail. The trail is used by bicyclists, joggers, walkers and equestrians.
The new bridge will feature artwork depicting scenes of California andIllinois, the end points of Route 66. One end of the bridge will showcase the art of palm trees and the Pacific Ocean, and the other end will highlight windmills and white oaks, Illinois’ state tree.
Additional Route 66 amenities that will be incorporated into this portion ofFoothill Boulevard include an approximate three-acre park on the north side of the Boulevard, which will also be a key trailhead location for access to the Pacific Electric Trail. The park will provide parking, equestrian access and rest areas for visitors, incorporate interesting Route 66-related markers. In fact, in addition to integrating a portion of the old PacificElectric Railroad Bridge into the design, the park will also feature an original piece of the old Route 66 roadway, which was discovered on the site. Also planned is a Route 66 monument and the same varieties of grapevines that were first brought to the area years ago from the San Gabriel Mission.
The Foothill Boulevard/Route 66 Improvement Project is just one of many ongoing efforts that have received funding from the Redevelopment Agency, which has committed nearly $20 million to ensure its completion. By investing in infrastructure and other physical enhancements to Foothill Boulevard, this major thoroughfare will continue to attract private investment, new business growth and housing opportunities for local residents for years to come.