HomeCity NewsBurbank Public Works Presents Update on Citywide Projects

Burbank Public Works Presents Update on Citywide Projects

Burbank Public Works Director Ken Berkman on Thursday gave a first look into the department’s planned capital improvement spending for fiscal year 2024-25 in a report to the Infrastructure Oversight Board.

The report condensed a five-year plan of comprehensive infrastructure improvements in the city, representing nearly $1 billion in spending between 2022 and 2027. Notably, the plan further details a transformation of the Starlight Bowl Amphitheatre, the construction of a tiny homes village transitional housing facility for the unhoused and a study that could lead to the replacement of the Olive Avenue Bridge in anticipation of Metro’s Bus Rapid Transit Line.

In 2018, Burbank voters passed Measure P, a three-quarter cent sales tax ordinance of which half of the revenue is dedicated to citywide infrastructure. Those funds, in addition to state and federal grant dollars and other city funds, are what make Burbank’s 316 capital projects possible. Repairs and maintenance of roads, park development and recreational sports, bike paths, public art, and the maintenance of police and fire vehicles are funded by these sources.


The tiny homes village has been in the works since 2022. Slated for construction on city property on the 300 block of North Front Street, the goal of the project is to provide transitional housing for unhoused individuals. With the receipt of a $5 million housing grant, the design and construction portions are expected to begin within the next year.

The project proposal consists of a yet to be determined number of fenced-in cabins with electricity, heat and air conditioning and personal storage. The overall project time frame for development is between 18 and 23 months, and the estimated construction costs are $3 million.

The proposed tiny homes project would allow for as many as 50 individuals to live onsite for three-month durations. Each duration could be extended to six months for an individual who is “working toward bettering themselves and is working to obtain permanent housing,” said city staff.


Improvements to Starlight Bowl Amphitheatre is another project on public works’ docket for next fiscal year.

Plans for the Starlight Bowl date back 10 years when a design firm, Lehrer Architects Westlake Reed Leskosky Design, presented an $18 million, 20-year plan to renovate the space calling it “drastically underutilized” and “slightly tired” in terms of its physical condition and programming, according to a 2014 Burbank Leader article.

And while those plans never fully came to fruition, hopes were recently renewed for the bowl. The Development Oversight Committee in a recent meeting re-initiated efforts to update the publicly owned outdoor theater that is currently only being used for outdoor summer concerts and high school graduations.

Plans could include updates to the facility’s restrooms, seating areas, parking lot, concessions, dressing rooms and lighting for both the stage and along walkways.


The first phase of the Downtown San Fernando Boulevard reconstruction project was completed earlier this month, changing traffic flow to one-way and creating more space for parking and increasing safety for pedestrians.

The one-year pilot program promises that the particular corridor of San Fernando Boulevard, near the Burbank Town Center, could be changed back to two-way flow depending on community feedback.

If feedback is positive after one year, the city might approve permanent modifications to the tune of $358,000.


Advocates made clear during Tuesday’s Bus Rapid Transit debates that in order for the bus line to best service the Burbank community, significant changes would need to be made to the Olive Avenue bridge, which would connect the line with MetroLink train service.

Advocates called the bridge seismically unsafe, and criticized it for its lack of a safe bike lane and for having inadequate space for a bus stop.

Funding has not been flagged for the project yet, but the city conducted a study to widen the bridge back in 2016.

“The estimated $150,000 development impact [cost] for fiscal year 2024-25 will consist of updating the city’s position to obtain federal and state grants to design and construct the project, in collaboration with Metro,” city staff wrote in a report.

First published in the March 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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