SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Monday, July 9, the San Diego City Council voted 6-1 to approve the Plaza de Panama project to reclaim Balboa Park’s plazas for pedestrian use. San Diego-based KCM Group served as the program manager for the project. Leading an extensive team of consultants, KCM Group guided the project through a rigorous city review, CEQA and public outreach process.
The $45 million Plaza de Panama project will reclaim the public spaces in the core of Balboa Park from cars and return them to usable park space. By removing cars from the heart of the park, five areas that are now lost to parking and traffic -- the Plaza de Panama, Plaza de California, West El Prado, Esplanade and the parking lot behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion -- will be restored to their historic use as pedestrian park spaces. These long-needed improvements will be made possible through the construction of Centennial Bridge and Road that will allow vehicles to bypass the core of the park and lead directly to parking areas. A new 797-space below-grade parking structure -- topped with a 2-acre park -- will be built in the location of the existing surface parking lot behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. In all, 6.3 acres of roads and parking lots will be transformed into pedestrian plazas and promenades.
“The Plaza de Panama project could not have made it to this point without the expertise and diligence of Gordon Kovtun and KCM Group,” said Dr. Irwin Jacobs, chair of the Plaza de Panama Committee. “The team they put together was instrumental in achieving project approval.”
KCM Group guided the project through the planning, environmental review, and public outreach processes. They also managed the engineering design process, including project construction phasing, scheduling and estimating.
The project includes a number of elements that will be constructed over four phases: Centennial Bridge and Road, the below-grade parking structure, the rooftop park and the restoration of the plazas and promenades. A new accessible tram system will be in place during construction to enhance access to the core of the park for visitors and employees. Because of on-going park operations and special events, the construction plan ensures that two-way vehicle access through the park is maintained at all times, and safe access to all institutions is provided. The plan also takes into account the historic nature of the park -- historic structures and landscape features in the Park will be carefully preserved and protected.
The first phase of construction involves utility relocation, and is scheduled to begin in October 2012. Construction is planned to be complete by October 2014, in time for the 2015 Centennial Celebration in Balboa Park.
For more information about the project, visit www.plazadepanama.org.
About KCM Group
KCM Group, Inc. is a full-service construction management and consulting firm founded in 2000 by Gordon Kovtun. KCM Group provides comprehensive construction management services for government, commercial, non-profit and residential clients, as well as specialized consulting services in the areas of environmental compliance, construction claims (avoidance + resolution), forensic analysis and litigation support. The KCM Group website is www.kcmgroup.net. Civil Engineering and planning services are offered through KCM Engineering, an affiliate company of KCM Group. The KCM Engineering website is www.kcmengineering.com.