PLA hears about pipeline, Harbor Drive and airport projects at annual town hall meeting
Published - 05/13/15 - 06:22 AM | 3852 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Point Loma Association held its annual town hall forum and election meeting May 6, with San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts swearing in new directors.

Association members also received reports from Naval Base Point Loma, the Port of San Diego and the Airport Authority.

Created in 1961, the association comprises residents and businesses committed to improving the quality of life in Point Loma through beautification, education, charitable activities and civic collaboration.

Emcee Clark Anthony led the May 6 meeting introducing elected officials and guest speakers Capt. Howard Warner, III, USN, Eric Guerreiro of the Port of San Diego and Keith Wilschetz, an Airport Authority director.

Association president Robert Jackson thanked new and old members for their volunteerism. Noting that association volunteers have implemented median beautification and other community projects, Jackson said, “If it wasn’t for all of us, it wouldn’t be happening.”

“This organization has a lot of accomplishments, and the county has been a partner in a number of them,” said Roberts, noting that Nimitz Boulevard median improvements “make a big difference.”

“I would just encourage you to keep doing those kind of wonderful things,” said Roberts. “We (the county) want to be a partner.”

Second District Counciwoman Lorie Zapf said Centraloma median improvements done by the association “look awesome.” She gave a quick update of current city budget deliberations, noting that patching streets and improving infrastructure remains a top priority with Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Officials also cited the association’s Mean Green Team, a group of about 30 volunteers who go out on Fridays and work in the community.

Naval Base pipeline

Warner, who assumed command of Naval Base Point Loma in August of 2014, spoke of his background traveling the world with the Navy and working on five submarines. He spoke of “inheriting” the Miramar Pipeline project, which calls for relocating an approximately 4.5-mile section of pipeline in Point Loma away from the coast and into the right-of-way on Rosecrans Street.

The original 17.3-mile pipeline, built in 1954 with a 30-year designed life, provides fuel for Navy ships and aircraft.

The base commander said the Navy is signing off on a final environmental assessment for the pipeline project after determining it would have no significant environmental impacts. He also spoke of the construction timetable for the project.

“The City Council is expected to decide on it in June or July, with construction expected to start in January 2016,” said Warner, noting it will take about two years to complete the project.

“It’s the right thing to do to guarantee the long-term safety of the pipeline,” concluded Warner.

North Harbor Drive realignment

Port of San Diego rep Guerreiro discussed North Harbor Drive realignment, a $3.9-million project making North Harbor Drive safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers by realigning and reconstructing about 1,600 linear feet of the thoroughfare, including parking and bike and driving lanes.

Guerreiro said the project will create a parking lot with 130 spaces on the south side of North Harbor Drive. Asked if the parking lot would be metered, Guerreiro replied that it would not, but he added it would be time monitored for periods ranging from two to 72 hours. Guerreiro also allayed community concerns that all traffic lanes, including turn lanes now temporarily closed for construction, will be restored and restriped at the conclusion of the project.

“We will have Class 2 bike lanes on both sides of the road,” said Guerreiro, noting crosswalks to be constructed as part of the project will be activated by pedestrian push buttons. He added signalized intersections will also be synchronized to prevent traffic tie-ups.

New rental car center

Wilschetz, of the Airport Authority, talked about the new $316 million airport rental car center now under construction. He said the purpose of the new center is not only to improve customer service but also to “take 12 to 15 percent of airport traffic off Harbor Drive.”

The airport spokesman said the Airport Authority is “trying very hard to make this (rental center) an attractive building,” fully realizing that “we’ll be impacting the neighborhood to the north.”

Wilschetz confirmed that a to-be-named restaurant will be included along with the rental car parking structure.

“That is the only concession that will be there other than minor coffee stands,” he said.

The 2 million-square-foot rental center is expect to debut in early 2016.

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