By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
Maintaining and improving Newport Beach’s infrastructure is critical for the quality of life here in the City, both for current residents and future generations.
With several major construction projects now underway, we appreciate the community’s patience. City staff makes every effort to keep construction impacts to a minimum, but some degree of temporary detours, lane closures and full road closures are often necessary to keep the projects moving toward completion, on time and on budget.
The temporary inconveniences of these projects come with long-term benefits, though, as the improvements to our streets, sidewalks, roads, bridges will increase the safety and beauty of Newport Beach for decades to come.
The West Balboa Island utility undergrounding project, for example, required short-term road closures, and for a few weeks earlier this year, the closure of the Balboa Island ferry to vehicles. But the payoffs will be long-lasting, as unsightly power lines and utility equipment are permanently buried beneath the roadways.
About two weeks ago a major milestone was achieved when crews successfully installed the last large Edison vault on Park Avenue between Emerald Avenue and North Bay Front.
You can visit our website for information on our Capital Improvement Program at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/public-works/capital-improvement-program?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery, private development projects at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/projects-issues?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery, and an interactive map of development permits throughout Newport Beach at https://nbgis.newportbeachca.gov/gispub/Dashboards/BuildingPermitsDash.htm?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
Carol McDonald, NBPD’s First Volunteer, Recognized for 23 Years of Service
On Tuesday March 22, Police Chief Jon Lewis presented retired volunteer Carol McDonald with a Chief’s Citation for her decades of selfless service to the residents of Newport Beach. Carol was the first volunteer to join the Volunteers in Policing (VIP) program when it began in 1999.
For nearly 23 years, McDonald honorably served the department and the Newport Beach community as the cornerstone of the VIP Program. She graciously handled a variety of volunteer tasks over the years and set the “gold standard” for tours of the police station.
Carol’s infectious smile, keen wit, and unfailing support of the NBPD have positively impacted everyone who has had the good fortune to meet her.
In February 2022, after her 90th birthday and thousands of hours of service, Carol retired from the volunteer program. Please join us in celebrating Carol’s many contributions as the original and longest-serving department volunteer.
Suspect Detained for Social Media Threats
Newport Beach police detained a minor this week who, through social media posts, threatened physical harm in connection with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.
On Saturday, March 18 the Police Department was made aware of inappropriate posts on social media through NMUSD officials. Initially the posts did not rise to the level of a crime; however, later in the day, the posts rose to a criminal level, threatening physical harm.
Working with the Costa Mesa Police Department and NMUSD, investigators were able to determine the circumstances and person involved. The individual who posted the information had no means to carry out the threat.
Upon completion of the investigation, the juvenile was transferred to the custody of the Orange County Juvenile Hall. Despite the recent increase in inappropriate social media activity across the country, the NBPD always takes each threat seriously.
Free Compost Giveaway, Document Shredding, E-Waste Disposal April 9
Newport Beach residents are invited to bring documents and household electronic waste for free shredding and disposal on Saturday, April 9 from 8 a.m. to noon.
The event will be at the Newport Beach Corporation Yard, 592 Superior Ave. The entrance will be on Industrial Way via right turn.
Residency will be verified; please bring identification. Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes for shredding and e-waste such as computer monitors and cell phones for disposal.
Residents can also receive up to two 30-lb. bags of compost while supplies last. Kitchen pails for organics recycling will also be available for pickup.
For more information visit www.newportbeachca.gov/shred.
Be Well Update
The new Be Well mobile crisis response team is now operating in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and EMTs, and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.
This week, the Be Well team:
- Transported one person to a crisis stabilization unit for mental health care after expressing suicidal intentions with police officers
- Transported one person to the sobering station at the Be Well campus in Orange
- Transported three people to the County of Orange Cold Weather Emergency Shelter in Santa Ana
- Transported three people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for intake appointments
- Connected four people to social service agencies for case management. Two elderly people met with the County’s Adult Protective Services team to receive assistance and wellness checks
- Conducted 22 outreach interactions with residents and people experiencing homelessness.
Cart Distribution Continues in Organics Recycling Rollout
The distribution of new, green-lid carts for recycling organic materials (yard waste, food waste and other biodegradable items) is underway through mid-April. Pickup of organic recycling will begin the week after the organics carts are delivered, on the same day as trash and standard recycling are collected.
For information on the state-mandated organics recycling program, please utilize the following resources:
- Click here for a short video on how to separate and recycle organic waste: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn6jWR2RK6Q&t=50s.
- Visit www.newportbeachca.gov/recycle to find out when the organic recycling carts will arrive in your neighborhood (use the search function at the top of the page).
- Read through our Frequently Asked Questions document for answers to common questions and concerns at https://newportbeachca.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/70926/637793182513400000?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
East Coast Highway and Marguerite Avenue Construction Update
East Coast Highway and Marguerite Avenue pavement rehabilitation is progressing on schedule.
Concrete improvements to sidewalks and curbs was completed by Friday, March 25. The contractor will begin asphalt pavement work on Marguerite Avenue beginning on Monday, March 28. The work on Marguerite Avenue will be done during daytime hours, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is scheduled to be completed by April 4.
Pavement rehabilitation on East Coast Highway is scheduled to begin on April 5, immediately following the completion of Marguerite Avenue. Segments of East Coast Highway will have to be closed to vehicular traffic to complete this work.
To minimize traffic impacts, paving operations will be completed at night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. (Sunday night to Friday morning) beginning April 5. Please observe the full road closures and detours during nighttime working hours. All lanes will be open to vehicular traffic during the day. The paving operation on Coast Highway is scheduled to be completed by May 12.
City staff is closely monitoring the construction progress to assure that work is being done swiftly and safely and to minimize public inconvenience. We thank residents and business owners in the area for your continued patience and understanding as we complete this challenging and much-needed project.
Newport Island Bridge to Get New Sidewalk
As part of ongoing citywide bridge maintenance, a contractor is replacing the deteriorated sidewalk on the Newport Island Bridge. During work hours, one side of the bridge sidewalk will be closed along with a lane of traffic. Flagmen will be stationed to help traffic move safely through the work zone. The work began on March 17 and is scheduled to take about two weeks to complete.
While removing the old sidewalk, crews discovered the water pipe that runs under the bridge was degraded and severely corroded. Since the water line is partially excavated and the trench opened, the City plans to bypass and replace the line. This effort will add a few days to the construction but will add decades to the life of the infrastructure.
Maintenance Project Addresses Goldenrod Pedestrian Bridge
Beginning next week, the City’s Bridge Maintenance Project will address damaged concrete beneath the Goldenrod Pedestrian Bridge. The repairs will remove and repair unsound concrete from the columns and underside of the bridge and fill-in visible cracks. The bridge will remain open during the construction operations, which are estimated to take two weeks.
“Fostering Interest in Nature” Returns After COVID Delay
The Recreation & Senior Services Department’s Fostering Interest In Nature (FiiN) program is a free educational adventure for low-income 5th grade students in Orange County.
The program was established by the City in 2018 and ran for one season before the Covid-19 pandemic placed it on hiatus. During the first FiiN season, students were immersed in hands-on activities and lessons on plants, birds, animals, Native American historical culture, astronomy, marine ecology, climate science and more, and engaged in recreational activities like hiking and kayaking.
Program instruction was provided by the Newport Bay Conservancy education team and based at the Newport Dunes Resort, which provided a camping venue and food.
The City and our partners are excited to bring back the FiiN program for 2022, beginning in September. Registration for the 10-week program has already been filled, with 300 students attending from seven different elementary schools.
The City is seeking individual and corporate sponsors to help support the program and create lifelong memories for students. Please contact Carissa Macias at firstname.lastname@example.org to donate or become a corporate sponsor.
The City of Newport Beach provides a comprehensive response to address homelessness through a coordinated effort by City staff, contractors, partner agencies and nonprofit groups.
This week the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:
- Moved an elderly woman who experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for 10 years into her new apartment. Thanks to generous donations to the Good Giving program, the outreach team purchased essential household items, such as bedding and towels, for her new home. A representative from People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) meets with the woman weekly to ensure she remains stable and supported
- Met with representatives from the Towers on 19th in Costa Mesa and filed housing packets to secure apartments for three individuals
- Met with the leasing office in Huntington Beach for a man who has experienced homelessness by the Balboa Pier for 20 years. He is sheltering in a motel until he moves into the new apartment
- Continued to refer unsheltered people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for temporary housing and services. Twenty people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the facility
- Enrolled a person into services and completed a housing assessment
- Transported a client to the Social Security office to apply for a new Social Security card. The client is matched to a senior apartment and will move in once the new card arrives
To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, please visit our Good Giving Program web page at https://newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
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Source: Newport Beach Independent