By Emilie St. John
COMPTON —The city has been awarded $12 million to repair the Artesia Bridge.
“AB 179 passed and Gov. [Gavin] Newsom signed the bill today and we have been given $12 million for the bridge and I look forward to getting more information,” said Mayor Emma Sharif at the Sept. 6 City Council meeting.
AB 179, the Budget Act of 2022, implements funding for key priorities which includes repairing of the bridge.
In April, the city held a press conference on the bridge alongside a representative from Crystal Park Casino to request $30 million towards repairs.
“The town center is impacted the worst, as businesses are losing 150,000 to 400,000 dollars a day in revenue, and those numbers hurt the city,” Sharif added. “Many of the stores in the town center like El Pollo Loco, Bank of America, Target, Home Depot, the casino, McDonald’s, and other small businesses in the area are struggling to stay open. If this bridge isn’t fixed, they may have to close down, which would be a major loss for the city.”
The bridge is located at the westbound exit of the 91 Freeway leading to Santa Fe and Alameda streets.
“We need to bring more attention to this bridge because it is a vital part of the community,” Sharif said. “This bridge is closed off and is causing a problem for everybody, as there are only four main roads that take you into Compton with the bridge closed. It’s causing severe traffic, frequent accidents, and unorganized detour routes.”
During the Sept. 6 meeting residents complained of the influx of traffic along Santa Fe, particularly between Myrrh Avenue and Compton Boulevard where four schools are located and is the site of multiple accidents since the bridge closed due to a fire.
“My concern is the traffic that is on Santa Fe and the traffic is phenomenal and in addition the speed is awful and last week we witnessed one of the worst accidents I have seen in my 40 years here,” said Mary Martin, director of ECO Center, which is located on Santa Fe. “I am pleading with you to install caution signs and blinking lights to let persons know to slow down since there are school children in the area.”
The city does not currently have a timeline for when the repairs will begin considering the bill was signed hours before the council meeting took place.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.