court-ordered sum, provided the property is being used for public
The new bridge will run from the freeway's Fairmont Avenue
entrance and exit ramps to Flower Street, in the middle of the San
Fernando corridor's business area. The bridge is expected to make it
easier for employees working in that area to get to and from the
freeway, easing congestion on surface streets.
"Rather than using San Fernando Road and crossing the railroad
tracks, employees can use this bridge," said Jano Baghdanian, the
city's traffic and transportation administrator. "This will be a
positive regional transportation improvement."
To build the bridge, the city must meet a variety of Caltrans
requirements, including a rule that says local roads or driveways
cannot be at the end of a freeway ramp intersection. The driveway of
A3A Financial Group, at 805 Fairmont Ave., is at the end of the
freeway ramp intersection. Because there are no other suitable access
points for the parking lot, the city is considering relocating the
business, Baghdanian said
"That's one of the options," Baghdanian said. "Unfortunately,
there's no other driveways that can be designed that will meet the
mandatory design standards by Caltrans. That's why we have to go
through condemnation and condemn the property."
Property owner Albert Khalatians can accept the city's offer for
the property, negotiate a new deal, challenge the city's right to
take the property or contest the amount of money being offered in
"We received notice last week about this eminent domain action,
and we're in the process of investigating and pursuing viable courses
of action," said Paul Van Loon, an attorney representing Khalatians.
"We're still just in the beginning phases."
The bridge has already been designed, and the city owns all the
other necessary property for the project, Baghdanian said, but the
city will not begin construction until 2007, when it is expected to
receive funding from the state. The state will pay for the full cost
of the project, expected to be between $15 million and $18 million,
* JOSH KLEINBAUM covers City Hall. He may be reached at (818)
637-3235 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.