Esplanade in the money

City’s plan to improve the boulevard gets $7.24 million grant

The city’s plan to upgrade Chico’s most iconic roadway, The Esplanade, got a $7.24 million boost in grant funding from Cal Trans last week.

The funding, secured Oct. 28 through the 2017 Active Transportation Program, will cover most of the estimated $7.6 million cost of improvements approved by the Chico City Council in April. Those improvements, part of the Esplanade Corridor Safety and Accessibility Improvement Project, include a separated bike path, crosswalk signals and ADA-compliant sidewalks.

In April, the council rejected roundabouts proposed along the tree-lined boulevard, sending that part of the project back to the drawing board. The panel is expected to consider alternatives early next year.