Plans to improve Redondo Beach's Moonstone Park pressed ahead this week as the City Council selected an engineering firm to begin making the waterfront project a reality.
The small open space area sits at the end of Marina Way, on an outcropping of land in King Harbor that's known locally as Mole B. The area also is home to outrigger canoe club amenities and a new Harbor Patrol building that's shared by the Los Angeles County lifeguards.
The council Tuesday night approved a $254,156 contract with the firm Hirsch & Associates of Anaheim to begin designing components of the project, including architectural features, electrical systems, drainage plans and landscaping. A design plan approved for the site in January 2012 calls for the addition of public restrooms, a waterfront walk and seawall, mast-up dry storage, improved picnic amenities, an upgraded boat launch for small craft, resurfaced parking lot and more.
Coincidentally, the council's selection of a design firm comes the same week that Mole B was turned into a loading dock for two steel coke drums that were built for Chevron's oil refinery in El Segundo. Spectators, city leaders and television crews lined up at the water's edge Monday as the drums, which should be transported to El Segundo by early Thursday, were rolled off a barge and onto the quiet mole road.
For the temporary use of the space, Chevron agreed to pay Redondo Beach $2.4 million - money the city welcomed with open arms as a way to fund improvements that were put down on paper more than two years ago.
After the council gave Chevron its OK in August, Mayor Mike Gin said the deal "will accelerate a dream we've had for some time."
City Public Works Director Mike Witzansky said he hopes a construction contract will be awarded late this year. That would allow work to start in early 2014; it could last at least 12 months.
"This is going to be fairly intense construction," he added.
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