The intersection of Golden State Boulevard and Berkeley Avenue, as well as the tangential Golf Road, is Stanislaus County property and on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors approved taking the first step towards overhauling the commonly congested intersection.
The Board awarded the $750,000 contract to Drake Haglan and Associates for “all-inclusive consulting services” for the project which will include installing traffic signals, widening the intersections in all directions, and installing turn lanes. As the only proposal submitted, the Modesto-based firm was awarded the contract after meeting the necessary qualifications though the County did note it “is an unusual case” to receive only one application. The $540,000 of federal funding that the County will use is set to expire in June 2016 thus prompting the County’s recommendation to move forward with the firm.
While the awkward intersection is often a source of grief for those that travel it regularly, like parents of Turlock High School students from the Westside taking their kids to school, drivers will have to wait some time before any real changes commence.
“It will be at least a couple years before we see construction begin,” said Supervisor Vito Chiesa.
In the meantime environmental studies jointly funded by the City of Turlock and the county will be conducted. Chiesa also pointed out that once construction does begin, it could be lengthy due to the nearby influence of the railroad.
“The Union Pacific line complicates things immensely,” said Chiesa.
Not only will the railroad schedule need to be taken into account when performing construction work, but the railroads are often exempt from changing their schedules for the benefit of other agencies said Chiesa.
Also on Tuesday the Supervisors approved a three year agreement with the City of Turlock to allow county employees to fuel their Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles at Turlock’s CNG Fueling Station. With a shortage of fueling stations that service CNG vehicles, the contract will allow county vehicles to refuel at Turlock’s 1001 S. Walnut Road station. Having an additional station will not only mitigate delays for county employees, which have only one station at which to fill up, it will be more cost effective for the county than hiring a mechanic or tow truck for vehicles too far from the county fueling station at 1716 Morgan Road.
The county will be billed monthly by the City of Turlock, which presently pays $2 per gallon for fuel, and the money will come from an account for Morgan Shop expenditures.