Vito Latino has seen the damage that the stretch of Foothill Boulevard running through Sunland-Tujunga has done to cars over the last 10 years.
"Let's just say, you better buy yourself a new set of tires," said Latino, owner of Vito's Chevron on Foothill Boulevard, joking about the condition of the state road.
But officials this week announced that a long-needed overhaul of the boulevard between Wheatland Avenue in Lake View Terrace and Lowell Avenue in Tujunga will commence in January.
The $7-million project will be funded by the state.
The work, to be done by the city of Los Angeles, will include repaving, traffic signal synchronization, street lighting improvements, installation of about 60 new wheelchair ramps and other reconstruction, according to officials from the office of Assemblyman Bill Hoge (R-Pasadena).
The project was discussed as early as 1994, but languished as the state negotiated with the city over relinquishing ownership of the road.
With the construction of modern freeways, sections of former highways maintained by the state have been handed over to municipalities.
A section of Foothill Boulevard between Paxton Avenue and Wheatland was transferred to the city in 1993.
Bill Wakeland, field deputy for City Councilman Joel Wachs, said the city "refused to accept the street unless it were in a certain condition."
He noted that the bridge over the Big Tujunga Wash will be retrofitted for earthquake safety as part of the project.
Work was put off until January so that year-end holiday business would not be disrupted for merchants located on Foothill Boulevard, Wakeland said.
The project is expected to take as long as a year to complete, Caltrans officials said.