Cyclists and pedestrians may soon see improved options for traveling within city limits. Construction is slated to begin shortly on new Union Pacific Railroad crossings near Tehachapi Boulevard and to extend the Antelope Run Bike Path.

Tehachapi City Council members voted in favor of the projects in a 4-0 vote at the Monday night City Council meeting, with Councilman Kenneth R. Hetge absent.

Jay Schlosser, city development services director, said after the meeting that the improved railroad crossings will help the city be ADA complaint so that “a wheelchair can traverse."

The railroad crossings will be on the north side of the tracks parallel with the south side of West H Street, with construction starting near Green Street, Hayes Street and Dennsion Road.

Fencing, lighting and trees will eventually be placed along the sidewalks, according to photos from the City Council agenda.

“Each of the three railroad crossings will be repaved, with all new sidewalks, curb and gutter, medians, new crossing arms and new lights and signs,” Schlosser said.

The “total budget is estimated to be $2,656,000 with a realistic total cost range from $2.6 to $2.9 million,” according to City Council agenda documents. Contractor DOD Construction was awarded the job to begin construction, with the bid amount of $1,321,750.

The city was awarded an Active Transportation Program Grant to help fund the project in the amount of $2,242,000 and will be able to use some of the city’s remaining Redevelopment Successor Development funds of $350,000 for the project. The additional funding may be obtained through grant funds from Kern Council of Governments and if the project rises above the more than $2.6 million, SB1 road repair funds or city traffic mitigation fee funds may be used, according to agenda documents.

Antelope Bike Path

The Antelope Bike Path is slated to be extended to Highline Road on the east side of a man-made wash and is in close proximity to the property where the The Address at Tehachapi, LLC — a potential new single-family housing division — is located. There will also be a small parking lot east of Tucker Road and adjacent to the bike path.

Contractor Bowman Asphalt, Inc. which obtained the wining bid at $337,737 is slated to begin the project with the total budget for the project at $400,000. The project is funded through Transportation Development Act grant funds in the amount of $308,105 with no match requirement. The remaining funding of $90,000 for the project was reduced by excluding “several components of the project” with the shortfall being $40,000. The city is in discussion with KCOG about borrowing future Transportation Development Act grant funds and delaying the expense to be included in the 2020 budget, said city documents.