The Spruce Street Channel Improvement project is designed to improve drainage and water quality, protect private and public infrastructure from flooding, reduce mosquito habitat and improve safety and aesthetics for the community. It involves clearing vegetation and debris and regrading and replanting the channel. Construction work began in July 2019 and is expected to take approximately one year.
The Spruce Street Channel Improvement (Spruce) Project addresses long-standing community needs for improved drainage and water quality, protection of private and public infrastructure from flooding and reduced mosquito habitat. The project overlaps with the Escondido Transit Center Active Transportation Connections Project (ETC ATC) on the north side of West Valley Parkway where a new pedestrian bridge will provide safe walking and biking in the vicinity of the heavily-used North County Transit District (NCTD) Sprinter Station at the Escondido Transit Center. These adjacent but distinct projects overlap in some areas such as design, permitting, and construction for cost efficiencies. For more information about the ETC ATC project, see below.
The Spruce Project will reduce local flooding and ponding potential by increasing channel capacity, removing downstream barriers that obstruct flow, and constructing protective flood walls along certain channel banks. The Spruce Project makes improvements along a 2,000-foot-long section of drainage channel (and 450-foot-long box culvert), which collects runoff from approximately 1.24 square miles of Escondido. The Project will:
- Clear and repair a trapezoidal concrete channel between West Third Avenue and Spruce Street.
- Install new maintenance access points to an underground box culvert along Spruce Street near Second Avenue.
- Rehabilitate an earthen channel which flows from Grand Avenue, under West Valley Parkway, and along the Sprinter tracks behind the Escondido Transit Center to the Escondido Creek flood control channel and bike path.
- Remove accumulated soil and vegetation, improve infrastructure, remove an unused pedestrian bridge, and replant channel banks with native, climate-appropriate vegetation.
- Construct two permanent maintenance ramps to improve Public Works’ access to the newly-rehabilitated earthen channel sections.
Environmental permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were finalized in December 2018. Permitting for the ongoing maintenance of the channel is underway as part of the 2020 renewal of the City’s Regional General Permit for Channel Maintenance, led by the Utilities Environmental Program Division.
Escondido Transit Center Active Transportation Connections (etc atc) Project
The ETC ATC Project installs a pedestrian bridge on the north shoulder of West Valley Parkway (over the Spruce channel) to improve pedestrian access on the western side of the Escondido Transit Center. A bridge at this location was originally included in NCTD’s design for the Escondido Transit Center, but was never constructed, resulting in an asphalt berm extending into the traffic lanes on West Valley Parkway for pedestrian access over the channel. Removing the berm will provide space for bike lanes along West Valley Parkway, and the ETC ATC Project also provides bike lanes on Quince Street and North Tulip Street, connecting cyclists to the Inland Rail Trail bike path (along Escondido Creek flood control channel) and the Escondido Transit Center.