If you’ve ever spent time in Redwood City, you may have noticed two dilapidated monuments adjacent to El Camino Real at Claremont Avenue to the north and Chestnut Street to the south.
The city has allocated the funds to replace them but are awaiting word from Caltrans officials since they are on El Camino Real, a state highway. The hitch seems to be in the service club signs on the monuments and, because of that, require additional approval.
The city needed a go-ahead from the District Transportation Art Committee, which met Aug. 21. It approved a “Welcome to Redwood City” sign without the Rotary shields at Claremont Avenue, said spokeswoman Gidget Navarro.
It could not reach a consensus to allow for the replacement of service club and organization signs to be placed behind the monument because these types of signs are not allowed under the Gateway Monument Guidelines, and require approval from the traffic department.
The guidelines specify requirements regarding free-standing structures bearing the names of their respective cities located on state highways, as is the case with Claremont Avenue monument.
Navarro said that current agreements between Caltrans and the city have been used to finalize the approval process and go forward with the monument installation with new Rotary signs.
The replacement signs will be paid for out of the city’s capital improvement program, funded by the utility users tax imposed upon every person in the city who uses intrastate telephone communication services, electricity, gas and video services, Mike Gibbons, superintendent of the city’s Public Works division, wrote in an email.
The funds are used for projects and programs which construct, replace or improve city facilities.
The current estimated cost to replace the monuments is $70,000.
“One of our many roles in providing service to our community is to reconstruct, replace and/or repair civic structures that are in need of repair and replacement,” Gibbons said. “That is our role on the gateway monument sign project.”
The monuments haven’t been altered or changed since installed in the 1960s, apart from replacing some of the service club and civic organization signs over the years.
Gibbons said the city would like to get it done as soon as possible, but there is no set replacement time as the city awaits word from Caltrans about the service organization signs.
“We appreciate the great relationships we have with people who represent the service clubs and community organizations in Redwood City.” Gibbons said. “They are a vital part of what makes Redwood City a great place of which to be a part.”