Photos by Creig P. Sherburne
ATASCADERO — The first phase of work on the Atascadero Lake Park and Charles Paddock Zoo frontage was completed earlier this month.
The first of three major phases, the frontage is an area approximately 1,000 feet in length, parallel to Highway 41 at the Atascadero Lake Park. It features new lawn, trees, ADA-compliant decomposed granite trail and split-rail fencing.
The project was carried out by Atascadero-based Raminha Construction. Raminha employee Eric Soderin said it was a routine project with a lot of impact.
“Everything went pretty well,” Soderin said. “It turned out nice and makes that whole stretch of road look a lot nicer.”
He also said the company finished on budget and on schedule, despite halting work for a couple of major events at the park and the zoo.
Public Works Director Russ Thompson said that the project was originally intended to be paid for with redevelopment funds, but that fell through when redevelopment agencies were disbanded. Instead, the $288,000 project was paid for with park impact fees.
One minor anomaly that Thompson pointed out actually makes perfect sense once explained. There’s a big gap in the split-rail fencing that, on first glance, makes no sense.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘hey, why don’t you finish the fence?’” Thompson said.
The answer, it turns out, is the proposed sign for the Faces of Freedom War Memorial.
The sign will be shaped like a V with its point aimed at Highway 41 and each arm will be about 12 feet long. Thompson said the gap in the fence was left deliberately to make room for the sign.
Part of the frontage project included two new signs: one large, attractive concrete sign advertising the park and the zoo — its lights are solar powered — and another which can hold up to three temporary banners advertising upcoming events at the park or zoo.
Other upcoming projects for the area include a low-impact parking lot in the area behind the frontage but in front of the current parking lot. Thompson said it’s been tentatively named the “zoo green parking lot.” That will be paid for with a $565,000 grant.
“We hope to have it ready before the summer barbecues start next year,” he said.
The third project will connect the trails surrounding Atascadero Lake. More than 1,000 feet of crushed granite pathways were installed as part of the frontage project, but they stop at main parking lot entrance on Highway 41.
The plan, Thompson said, will lead that trail parallel to Highway 41 to San Gabriel Road.
Wonderful improvements, to be sure, but what was finished stands on its own, Mayor Bob Kelley said.
“[The frontage] is everything we had hoped for and more,” Kelley said. “I’ve had people come up to me and thank us for making the Lake Park so beautiful.”
For the complete article see the 07-27-2012 issue.
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