After years of planning, Oceanside has finally begun its long-planned streetscape program for its main entrance into downtown.
Mission Avenue, between Horne Street and Coast Highway, was closed to two-way traffic on November 12. K-rail concrete barricades have been put up, allowing only westbound traffic to proceed to Coast Highway.
By November 13, jackhammers and bulldozers were tearing up sidewalks on the north side of Mission Avenue, while westbound motorists were channeled into one lane on the south side.
The $2.5 million facelift will eventually create a more pedestrian/bike-friendly commercial district, while creating a one-way grand entrance into Oceanside’s downtown, civic center, and the pier areas.
According to project manager Nathan Mertz, the city expects a positive economic change in the area. “Sidewalks will be expanded from 5 to 30 feet, landscaping, and trees will be added,” said Mertz.
The sidewalk-expansion facet of the project is in recognition of the positive benefit of attracting downtown diners; the city will welcome restaurants to extend their dining areas to the outside.
When completed in mid-June of next year, Mission Avenue will remain a one-way, multilane street into downtown. The next street south, Seagaze Drive, has already been converted to a one-way, eastbound street, to head out of town or back to I-5.
The project was approved by the city in 2011, but the state’s taking of cities’ redevelopment funds, in the name of balancing state budgets, halted the project until now.