By Kathy Chouteau
Richmond City Councilmember Cesar Zepeda has identified possible federal funding for the construction of either overpasses or underpasses needed near Parchester Village and Canal Blvd. in Point Richmond, according to the July 11 Richmond City Council Agenda Report.
He recommended in the report, addressed to Mayor Eduardo Martinez and the City Council, that they “Direct staff to analyze the feasibility, cost and timeline of building the two under-or-overpasses near Parchester Village and Point Richmond at Canal Blvd. and return to the City Council with a report.”
Councilmember Zepeda indicated that he would work with Congressman John Garamendi’s Office to potentially fund this project.
He noted that Parchester Village would be the primary target for the funding since it currently only has one way in/out and is at risk of being blocked in an emergency situation. He also indicated in the report that since Parchester Village “is considered a low-income community, it would much easier qualify for federal funding.” However, he additionally underscored that “there is also a possibility that the City can do the same for Point Richmond at Canal Blvd.”
The councilmember recommended that the first step should be a conversation about the feasibility, a cost analysis and approval to apply for the funding for the two over/underpasses. “The documentation should be specific to both projects with separate costs and processes in case funding for one is provided and not the other.”
The next step, per Councilmember Zepeda’s recommendation in the agenda report, would be for the City to determine the project’s timeline, specifications and any city approvals that are needed—a.k.a. permits—to illustrate that the City is poised for the funding.
“Congressman Garamendi’s Office is available to discuss how they can assist with the projects should the City decide to move forward,” per Councilmember Zepeda in the report. He noted that the planning and project review deadline is completion by September, so that staff can present to the Congressman’s office by October, when the application process opens.