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West Main Street project slated for summer start
west main street
Work on the W. Main Street rehabilitation project is expected to start this summer and continue until spring or summer 2019. - photo by File Photo

One of Turlock’s major gateways will soon receive much-needed rehabilitation, as the Turlock City Council approved a construction contract on Tuesday for the West Main Corridor project.

The West Main Corridor Rehabilitation —the City’s first project using countywide road tax (Measure L) funds — has been a long-time coming.

The City began soliciting public input for the West Main Street project in January 2016, with the hopes that construction could start in August 2017. Conflicting opinion on how the oldest part of West Main should be realigned and a rushed bid process delayed the project. The cost of the project has also increased significantly from the original estimate of $4.2 million.

The Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to award a bid in the amount of $7.465 million for the West main Corridor project to Teichert Construction, Inc. of Roseville.

“What may not be apparent is the project plans are much more detailed and the exposure to potential change orders has been reduced. Also, the project presented to you tonight has considerable safety enhancements, from the pedestrian bulb outs, the pedestrian activated flashing beacons and also a … median fence in the median along West Main from Soderquist, adjacent to Osborn school,” said Director of Development Services/City Engineer Nathan Bray, when talking about the cost increases of the project to the City Council on Tuesday.

The project will have two phases. Phase I will include West Main Street from just past S. Walnut Road to West Avenue South. The roadway will receive an overlay, similar to what was put on Monte Vista Avenue, and all of the medians will be replaced with all but two median openings closed for better traffic control. The median openings that will remain are located in front of Evergreen Packing between Soderquist and Tully roads and the one adjacent to a truck tire shop between Clifford and Alaska.

The City will also install a wrought iron fence in the median adjacent to Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy, similar to the one in front of Turlock Junior High School, to encourage pedestrians to use the designated crosswalks.

Phase II that includes West Avenue South to Lander Avenue and the future of the 100-year-old sycamore trees that line West Main Street.

The City held three public meetings to present options for the Phase II area of roadway — and received vastly different consensus on what direction they should go.

At the Jan. 27, 2016 meeting, the consensus was to save all of the trees and take out the street parking to make more room for the landscape strips. At the March 29, 2016 meeting, the public had a “polar opposite” opinion on what should occur. At the second meeting, public consensus was to save the street parking at all costs.

The third and final meeting, held Feb. 1, 2017, saw 20 of 24 participants choose Option 2, a compromise plan which keeps parking on both sides of the street while saving as many as the historic sycamore trees as possible.

The project will also see a majority of the water, sewer and storm utilities on West Main removed and reinstalled due to age, size or location. The water and utility repairs will be paid for out of separate City funds, bringing the total cost of the West Main Street project to over $9.34 million — $6.089 million from Measure L funds and over $3.25 million in City funds designated for infrastructure improvements.

Due to the increase in funds needed for the West Main Corridor project, other Measure L projects will be pushed back approximately two years. The other planned projects for the first year of Measure L funds that are being delayed include Golden State Boulevard and East Avenue. However, the Golden State Boulevard project is currently under design.

Work on the W. Main Street rehabilitation project is expected to start this summer and continue until spring or summer 2019.