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ROADWORK AHEAD: Turlock to break ground on major roadway projects in 2018
2018 road projects
Construction on West Main Street is expected to start this spring. - photo by Journal file photo

Orange cones will be popping up around town in 2018, as the city is expected to undertake a number of roadway construction projects this year.

"I'm glad our Council can honor our promise to fix Turlock's most traveled roads. From Monte Vista to West Main Street, we're tackling these corridors to better serve the traffic needs of the city. I ask for patience as we reconstruct these roads and we will do everything we can to decrease the negative impact to motorists and residents alike," said Mayor Gary Soiseth.

The City of Turlock’s first Measure L (Local Roads First Transportation Funding) endeavor is expected to break ground this spring.

After multiple public meetings and a rejected bid that came in $2 million more than projected, the reconstruction of West Main Street is expected to get back on track for a spring start date, according to Soiseth.

The project will be broken up into two phases, with Phase I including West Main Street from just past S. Walnut Road to West Avenue South. This section of road will receive an overlay similar to what was put on Monte Vista Avenue and all medians but two will be replaced, and a wrought iron fence will also be installed in the median adjacent to Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy to encourage crosswalk use, similar to the fence installed in front of Turlock Junior High School.

Phase II includes the complete reconstruction of West Main Street from West Avenue South to Lander Avenue.

The City held three public meetings in January and February 2017 in order to receive input on the design of Phase II, which impacts the 100-year-old sycamore trees that line the thoroughfare.

At the first meeting, the community consensus was to save all of the trees and take out the street parking to make more room for the landscape strips, and at the second, the public took a vastly different stance, choosing to save the street parking at all costs. At the third and final meeting, 83 percent of participants chose a compromise plan which keeps parking on both sides of the street while saving as many historic sycamore trees as possible.

The East Monte Vista Avenue Rehabilitation project is also slated to begin this spring.

All of Monte Vista Avenue from Geer Road east to the city limits will be repaved with pedestrian access ramps installed along the sidewalks. The $1.4 million project was awarded to Granite Construction of Fresno and will be paid for using Federal transportation funding and Gas Tax funds.

The final project slated to begin in 2018 is the long-awaited improvements to the Fulkerth Road and Highway 99 interchange.

The Stanislaus Council of Governments voted in November to recommend the Turlock project for Senate Bill 1 — Local Partnership Program Formulaic Project funding.

Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, established the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account and Program. SB1 invests a total of $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. Through SB 1, the Local Partnership Program provides $200 million annually in matching funding to support transportation investments that local communities are already making in their region. These matching funds will support cities and counties that have voter-approved transportation tax measures, such as Measure L.

Funding from the Local Partnership Program Formulaic Program will be used to fund the construction phase of the project and local and Measure L funds will be employed to meet the matching requirements.

The Fulkerth Road interchange was chosen by StanCOG to receive the funding because it “is a vital project in support of goods movement” and the plans, specifications and bid documents are 99 percent complete and the project is construction-ready.

The project includes the widening of Fulkerth Road, intersection spacing improvements, on/off ramp relocation, signalization to support truck traffic and will provide bike and ADA pedestrian facilities.

"It was no easy task to convince the other county leaders to approve the $2.4 million in gas tax money for the Fulkerth Road Interchange at Highway 99, but I'm glad we were able to do it. This Interchange will increase our ability to bring in more industries into Turlock, which translates into more high-paying jobs for our residents," said Soiseth.