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Construction in full swing

Work on adjacent grocery stores is forcing some inconveniences.

May 27, 2010|By Megan O'Neil

Large-scale construction projects are underway at two La Cañada supermarket complexes, forcing shoppers to navigate fences and concrete in addition to store aisles.

Work at Plaza de La Cañada, at the northeast corner of Foothill Boulevard and Oakwood Avenue, is overlapping with work at the Ralphs shopping complex, at the northwest corner of Foothill Boulevard and Gould Avenue and is causing minor traffic disruption in and around their respective parking lots, according to officials.

A city-approved traffic control plan has been activated on Foothill Boulevard in front of Plaza de La Cañada, which houses the Vons grocery store, said city traffic engineer Erik Zandvliet. The plan includes using orange cones to block one lane of traffic between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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"They have been following the plan," Zandvliet said. "There are minor backups, but nothing out of the ordinary."

While work on the Vons store is almost done, said Vons spokesman Carlos Illingworth, much work remains on other parts of Plaza de La Cañada.

"The site work and shopping center facade upgrade is just beginning and should be complete in September," Illingworth said.

In the coming months, crews will remodel the facade of TJ Maxx and other businesses. They will also reconfigure the parking lot, eliminating two access driveways on Foothill Boulevard, and adding a second access driveway on Oakwood Avenue. An additional driveway will also be added to the rear parking lot.

"We will also be replacing the sidewalk and building a deceleration lane on Oakwood and replacing a portion of the curb and gutter," Illingworth said.

Site superintendent Richard Seekins of Savant Construction said he has received a few complaints from shoppers, but most are excited about the upgrade.

"It has to be done," Seekins said. "Most people are glad that they are remodeling."

At Ralphs, construction has temporarily eliminated parking spaces but has not caused any additional inconvenience on the surrounding streets, Zandvliet said.

Building activity at the Ralphs complex includes the construction of a new 8,496-square-feet warehouse to the rear of the existing structure. It will also expand the Ralphs grocery store into the space previously occupied by the Flintridge Pharmacy and Medical Supply store, which has already been relocated one unit to the west.

"[The construction] is disruptive, but this is nothing we didn't anticipate," said Michael Stremfel, owner of Flintridge Pharmacy. "It's a small price to pay. I'm very excited. This shopping center is going to rock when it is done."

Construction at the Ralphs complex is scheduled to be completed in November, said Ralphs spokeswoman Kendra Doyle.

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