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Monte Vista Avenue railroad crossing reopens
Construction work at the Monte Vista Avenue and Golden State Boulevard finished early Thursday afternoon, allowing the busy intersection to reopen. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Drivers now have a smooth ride over the railroad tracks on Monte Vista Avenue, as road repairs have been completed on the popular thoroughfare.

Monte Vista Avenue was closed west of N. Golden State Boulevard this week as the crews worked to fix the rough transition from the road to the tracks that was left following a Union Pacific Railroad project in August.

The road was expected to be closed through Friday, but crews finished their work one day early and the City reopened Monte Vista Avenue on Thursday.

“I am pleased that the repairs have been completed ahead of schedule and the railway crossing at Monte Vista has re-opened,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth. “With the holiday shopping season, it was important to get this intersection completed in a timely manner so that convenient access to our regional retail center was reopened.”

The rough ride over the tracks was the result of work that Union Pacific Railroad performed in August which raised the tracks over one inch. The City of Turlock was informed the work would raise the tracks half an inch to an inch and prepared the roadway accordingly. When the work was completed, it was apparent that the tracks were raised more than one inch and the concrete panels were not flush with each other.

A bid was put out to repave the road near the tracks, as the City does not have the capability to perform additional grinding and paving as needed to make the transition smooth. George Reed Inc. of Modesto was awarded the project in October for the amount of $71,530.

Project manager and Principal Civil Engineer Nathan Bray said the public handled the four-day closure of Monte Vista Avenue well. Monte Vista Avenue is one of the city's arterial roadways from Highway 99 into town and for residents driving to Monte Vista Crossings shopping center. During the closure, the City rerouted traffic from Highway 99 to Taylor Road and Fulkerth Road and from town through Tuolumne Road.

"We were able to modify our timing at the other signals to mitigate delays at the detour roads," said Bray.