What a winter! In the past few months our state has received historic amounts of precipitation, helping to bring much of the state out of the drought. Tehachapi has also fared very well. From Dec. 1, 2016, through today we have had more than 12 inches of precipitation. That’s more than our average for an entire year!

While the rain was both welcome and needed, it has created a few problems. The project on Valley Boulevard to install new curb, gutter, underground storm drain and concrete bike path experienced significant delays because of the ongoing weather issues.

That’s not to say that weather was the only factor, however. That construction contract was issued in May and experienced delays related to unknown underground utilities and their associated redesign and relocation.

Those types of things happen from time to time on projects and we do our best to minimize their negative impact but the weather stung us on this one. Regardless, we appreciate the community’s continued patience and expect it to be complete very soon.

Other projects that wrapped up this winter were a bit more efficient. The repaving of the Mill Street overpass and Capital Hills Parkway (by Denny’s and the Holiday Inn) created some minor traffic delays while the overpass was closed but the new pavement is a great improvement to what was there and will provide better access to everyone frequenting a local business, the Post Office, or the new hospital.

The new signals and sidewalk east of Steuber Road down to the Loves Travel Center are also fully operational and should increase safety in the area. That project was a collaboration between the City and Caltrans and was 100 percent funded through state traffic safety funds.

As you can imagine, navigating the strange and complex nature of bureaucratic funding requires long-range planning, and at times completing projects in a manner that appears out of sequence.

In 2017, we’ll be embarking on several more projects to improve our community. I’m particularly excited about our repaving project for Tucker Road, between Cherry Street and Valley Boulevard. It is currently out to bid and will improve some problem areas of asphalt on a very heavily trafficked road.

Asphalt rehabilitation projects will also be initiated on all of our primary roadways and many of our neighborhood streets to improve the road surface and extend the useful life of the roads. New sidewalks will also be installed on Dennison Road, Snyder Avenue, Valley Boulevard and Curry Street, to provide safer areas for kids walking to and from school.

So keep an eye out for construction zones, look for updates on our Facebook page, and feel free to reach out to us with new ideas for projects that can help make Tehachapi an even better place to live.

As always, if you ever have any questions or comments regarding anything happening in the City of Tehachapi, I encourage you to call me at 661-822-2200 or contact me at ggarrett@tehachapicityhall.com.

Greg Garrett, Tehachapi city manager