Following the approval of Measure L by county voters in November, maintenance projects around town are at the top of the City of Turlock’s list of developments they plan to tackle first with the additional funds.
“This is a game changing tax,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth. “It’s an investment in infrastructure that we’ve needed for decades, and we are now going to be caught up with counties around us that have been doing this for years.”
Measure L — Local Roads First Transportation Funding — was introduced by the Stanislaus Council of Government as an Expenditure Plan on how funds based on a 25-year, half-cent sales tax measure will be used to pay for countywide local street and road improvements, arterial street widening, signalization, pedestrian, bicyclist and driver safety.
The plan was heavily influenced by a comprehensive public outreach program that asked residents to identify their priorities for future transportation programs and projects, and the road tax will bring in $960 million over the course of 25 years, or approximately $38 million annually, to be divided between the county and nine cities. For Turlock, a lifetime total of $138 million will be provided by the road tax, which goes into effect on April 1.
Many roads around town have experienced deterioration in recent years, and Soiseth said that will be the City’s top priority when beginning the tax-funded projects.
“The strategy behind Turlock’s formula was to do the most good for as many people as possible,” said Soiseth.
Within the first five years of the 25-year expenditure plan, the City plans to first fix Turlock’s “arteries,” such as parts of Geer Road, West Main Street, Golden State Boulevard and East Avenue.
“The roads with the highest amount of traffic will have the biggest impact on drivers, so we want to take care of those first,” said Soiseth.
Once the larger, more frequently-traveled roads have been fixed, efforts will move on to smaller, older streets that connect Turlock’s neighborhoods. Other roads to see changes in the plan’s first five years include Olive Avenue, Taylor Road, Christoffersen Parkway, Linwood Avenue, Marshall Street and countless others. Traffic signalization in these areas will be improved as well.
“I’m excited to see Turlock in five years,” said Soiseth. “You’re going to see our arteries improve, and older neighborhoods are going to get the repaving that they’ve desperately needed.”
The projects have been decided on and cannot be changed, said Soiseth, and he plans to set aside an area in City Hall with a list of projects planned for the first year.
“This way, everyone can be very clear about when their roads are going to be repaved,” he said.
A complete list of projects and the City’s 25-year plan can be viewed at www.stanislaus-localroadsfirst.com/turlock.