March 8, Mojave, California. Mojave’s largest municipal construction project in recent memory is progressing at full speed. Concrete for the first sidewalks has been poured along Belshaw, K and L Streets, and along Sierra Highway en route to Stater Bros. The first 18 of 50 lights were installed in February, and should be turned on by mid-March. And the remaining curb and gutter and utilities have been added or relocated to make way for this and future development. The entire project should be complete by June 2018.
The sidewalks and streetlights are being installed together in two phases, with the first phase stretching from Panamint to Stater Bros in January to March, and the second phase covering Panamint to Mojave Gardens in March to June. This marks the largest civil engineering project in Mojave in recent memory, adding almost 4 miles worth of new sidewalks along every street in downtown Mojave; plus over a mile of new curb and gutter. About $2 million was necessary over four years to make this project possible, from a diverse set of sources:
- $1 million in 2018 for sidewalks, which was possible due to a grant from the California Department of Transportation.
- $500,000 in 2017 for sidewalks, crosswalks and 20 solar streetlights on K-street, a project funded mostly by renewable energy company Terra-Gen.
- $250,000 in 2015 for curb and gutter, funded by a community block development.
- $125,000 in 2018 for 50 solar streetlights, raised by The Mojave Foundation, from residents, local businesses and corporate donors.
This project is the result of years of collaboration between the Mojave Foundation, Kern County, and the business community in Mojave, which have worked tirelessly to improve safety and security in Mojave. This year, Kern County is expecting each department to take more budget cuts, including fire and police, for the fourth year in a row. This has significantly reduced the number of deputies on the street, and puts more pressure on local communities to take responsibility for their own security. The Mojave Foundation believes that in the absence of additional law enforcement, these streetlights and sidewalks are the best way for our community to address public safety and security. We also view this as the ideal public/private partnership, where the private sector raises the initial funds for community development, and the local government manages the long-term sustainability of the program. We are proud to work with Kern County, our local residents and businesses to make concrete improvements in our community.