City Receives Green Light for Centennial Corridor Early Acquisitions
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved early release of $165 million to the City of Bakersfield to acquire right-of-way for the Centennial Corridor project.
Under recent federal legislation, known as “The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (“MAP-21”), 23 USC 108, Congress authorized both Caltrans and eligible local public agencies to perform certain early acquisition activities. The purposes of early acquisition include expediting project delivery, creating jobs, and reducing hardship for those who own property in the proposed path of a project and who encounter difficulties when they seek to sell their property before final project approval. Early acquisition allows owners to voluntarily sell and relocate if they wish. Early acquisition has the potential to mitigate the disruptions and hardships that lengthy project schedules can impose on a community.
The Eminent Doman process is not allowed during early acquisition and properties acquired would not be demolished unless and until the environmental review process is complete. The properties would be preserved and monitored; and in most cases, made available for rent. If the project is not approved, the properties would be sold with the proceeds going to the City and federal government in proportion to the amounts each agency contributed to the acquisition.
In addition to relieving hardship for those who need to sell their properties, early acquisition affords more overall time for affected owners to relocate and allows the community to better absorb shifts in the housing market.
City Council voted to move forward with the early acquisition process at the Wednesday, March 5, 2014 meeting.
Property owners whose properties are located within the path of the proposed Centennial Corridor project, and wish to sell their properties prior to the completion of the enviornmental review process, should contact:
Overland, Pacific, & Cutler
24th Street Improvement Project
On February 12, 2014, the Bakersfield City Council adopted a resolution certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report for the 24th Street Improvement Project and approved advancing the project to the final design and property acquisition phases. It's anticipated the project will be ready to advertise for construction in mid-2015.
On a separate, but related note, the City has also been informed that document approval was granted from both Caltrans and FHWA for $15.9 million for right-of-way and design on the 24th Street Improvement Project. Between the two actions, $180.9 million dollars in federal funds have been secured.
Current Construction Update