The City of Turlock is continuing to focus on infrastructure projects around town, with the next steps in the planned improvements to the intersection of Fulkerth Road and Golden State Boulevard going before the City Council on Tuesday.
The City Council awarded the Fulkerth Road and Golden State Boulevard improvement project bid to George Reed, Inc. of Modesto on Feb. 14, in the amount of $1,166,617.
The project will include installation of dual left turn lanes for all approaches, widening of turning lanes to accommodate large semi-trucks, pedestrian and bicycle facilities and replacement of aging infrastructure.
Due to the close proximity of the railroad tracks to the intersection, coordination between the operation of the railroad grade crossing protection devices (gates and flashing lights) and traffic signal is required to allow adequate time for vehicles to safely clear the railroad grade crossing.
According to City staff, a significant amount of work is required of Union Pacific Railroad to install new concrete panels to widen the track crossing and remove the existing active warning devices and install new ones.
The two agreements the City Council will consider on Tuesday include a Signal Interconnect Agreement in the amount of $1,031,167 and a Public Highway At-Grade Crossing Agreement in the amount of $380,514, which is an estimate of the costs and the City must agree to reimburse 100 percent of the railroad’s actual costs associated with the work.
The funding for the entire project — including the railroad agreements —is coming from federal Construction Mitigation and Air Quality funds, local Gas Tax funds and local Capital Facility Fees.
The last time the City of Turlock and Union Pacific Railroad worked together on an intersection project, the results were not ideal.
In August 2016, a section of Monte Vista Avenue west of Golden State Boulevard was closed as Union Pacific replaced its tracks and concrete panels within the crossing. The City of Turlock was informed the work would raise the tracks half an inch to an inch and prepared the roadway accordingly. When the work was completed, it was apparent that the tracks were raised more than one inch and the concrete panels were not flush with each other.
A bid was put out by the City to repave the road near the tracks and George Reed Inc. completed the project in December. While the new gradient made the ride over the tracks less chaotic for motorists, there remained a significant bump where the rail panels were misaligned.
Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth called on the help of local congressman Jeff Denham, who worked with the City and Union Pacific to help rectify the matter.
Union Pacific replaced 240 feet of concrete beds a week before Christmas and installed new rail and ties.
Also on Tuesday, the City Council is expected to:
· - Consider delegating authority to the City Engineer and the City Land Surveyor to approve vacations for public service easements for a period of 24 months, with an applicant right to appeal;
· - Consider issuing a Request for Proposal for rubber bark from tire-derived products for landscape medians on Monte Vista Avenue and Christoffersen Parkway, east of Geer Road;
· - Accept the post event reports funded in part by the City of Turlock through the Community Events and Activities Grant Program;
· - Consider approving a request to close sections of downtown Turlock for the Assyrian American Civic Club to host the Assyrian New Year Parade on March 25;
· - Accept the Turlock Police Department 2016 Annual Report; and
· - Accept the Turlock Fire Department 2016 Annual Report.