The City of Turlock continues to make headway on new roads projects in town, with several thoroughfares set to undergo improvements both this year and next.
Interim Development Services Director Nathan Bray presented the City Council with an update on the new roads program initiative during their July 13 meeting, which aims to rehabilitate Turlock's 428 lane miles of roads. The city’s roads currently have a pavement condition index of 55 out of 100, and the program will improve that number over the course of the next five years by allocating 50% of Measure A funding for the cause.
An estimated total of $5.5 million will go towards road projects annually, increasing the City’s existing road funding by 100%. Bray explained that prior to the passage of Measure A, the City had available $4.75 million for roads projects through Measure L, SB 1 and federal funding. Now, there is $10.25 million to be spent on road rehabilitation annually.
“With this initiative, the expected results are going to drastically improve Turlock’s pavement condition index,” Bray said.
Two road projects are slated to begin this year. Construction will begin on Golden State Boulevard this summer, which will see new concrete work and the street repaved from Crane Avenue in downtown Turlock to Dels Lane. Work on the City’s Southeast Quadrant Road Rehabilitation will likely begin in the fall, Bray said, and will include Pioneer Avenue as well as streets near Turlock High School like Cahill Avenue, East Marshall Street, Sycamore Street and Merritt Street.
Other projects that will begin next year include the repaving of Hedstrom Road from Geer Road to North Olive Avenue, Pedras Road from Geer Road to Golden State Boulevard, Lander Avenue from D Street to Highway 99 and a Southwest Quadrant Road Rehabilitation including streets in Turlock’s westside, like West Avenue North and Alaska Street.
Bray noted that while some projects like Pedras Road and Hedstrom Road are partially funded with federal money, Measure A funding could help fully fund the projects. Additionally, he said, Lander Avenue would be a great opportunity to utilize Measure A funds, as no funding source has been identified for the project yet.
Mayor Amy Bublak wondered why projects planned for 2022 couldn’t be started this year.
“We’ve got all this money and I feel like whatever we’re doing with that $5.5 million, it should be going towards roads…I’d rather not wait for all of this until next year because for the public, they say ‘Where’s the money?’” Bublak said.
Many of the projects have to be completed next year because of their federal funding status, Bray explained, and moving forward without receiving authorization could jeopardize the funds.
Bray pointed out other projects which will go before the council soon, such as improvements to Linwood Avenue which would provide sidewalks, a dedicated left-hand turn and a flashing beacon in front of Cunningham Elementary School.
As the projects continue to move forward, the City also continues its search for a Roads Program Manager to oversee the initiative. Since advertising the job on May 28, the City has received four qualified applicants and is in the process of setting up next steps in the hiring process.