NEW MEDIAN WILL STOP LEFT TURNS INTO TWENTYNINE PALMS STATER BROTHERS CENTER

The Twentynine Palms City Council awarded a design contract for a safety median on Highway 62, east of Encelia Avenue, in front of Stater Bros., last night. Reporter Heather Clisby has the details…

At last night’s Twentynine Palms City Council meeting, the council voted to award a design contract to KOA Corporation for a safety median on Highway 62, east of Encelia Avenue. Slated for construction later this year, the 850-foot-long raised median will be a safety mechanism that blocks motorists from making risky left turns from the highway in to the parking lot and vice versa. Motorists heading west will be able to access the shopping center by turning left at the stoplight at Encelia Avenue.

The Twentynine Palms City Council agreed to award a design contract to install a median in Highway 62 to prevent motorists from making a left-hand turn into the Stater Bros. parking lot. Google Maps photo

The contract is for $27,500 with a 10 percent contingency subject to final approval by the City Attorney. Funding for design and construction of this median will be the City’s allocated Measure I, from the Major Local Highways Program.

Councilmember Joel Klink noted that the council may get “flack” for the decision but a number of accidents and close calls made the council act in the interest of public safety.

“It is especially dangerous to make a left turn there when the sun is going down and it is very bright,” said Mayor Daniel Mintz.

City Manager Frank Luckino discusses a center median project in front of the Stater Bros. parking lot in Twentynine Palms.

The council also authorized City Manager Frank Luckino to allow an addendum with Holt Architecture on plans for a professional-grade kitchen within the multi-purpose facility for Project Phoenix not to exceed $61,919 plus 10 percent contingency. The kitchen will be used for classroom instruction and community events. The city will construct the building, Morongo Unified School District will donate kitchen equipment, and Copper Mountain College will put $20,000 towards design.

Luckino noted that the Project Phoenix budget is in “great shape.” Last week, the city put out construction bids for 17 trades and anticipated a 50-bid response but received 91.

“This is more competitive which means lower costs,” said Luckino.

Per the lifting of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders from Governor Newsom, the next meeting of the council, February 9, will be open to the public.

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