Bids for Castro Streetscape extras in limbo
Construction on the Castro Streetscape Improvement Project is set to begin next month with Ghilotti Brothers, Inc. as the winning bidder for the bulk of the project. Ghilotti Brothers was the same contractor that worked on the Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project in 2009 and will be working in the Castro to widen sidewalks and reconfigure Jane Warner Plaza in addition to adding ADA compliant curb ramps, bike parking, street trees, and bulb-outs at specific intersections. Muni overhead wiring and catenary pole relocation is also within the scope of the project.
Some of the streetscape improvements agreed upon by residents during the Castro Street Design discovery phase which included adding GLBT facts inlaid in sidewalks, mica sparkles in the pavement, and decorative lighting and crosswalks did not receive any bids low enough to fit within the projects $7 million budget. The Castro / Upper Market Community Benefit District is considering stepping in to help fill in the funding gap associated with adding the improvements.
The Rainbow Honor Walk, the 3′x3′ sidewalk placards commemorating GLBT historical figures and designed by artist Carlos Casuso, is still a go and is being funded separately through local grants and community fundraising. Many of the placards will be included in the new streetscape which is set to be completed in October, just in time for the Castro Street Fair.