Driving through Turlock is becoming an obstacle of sorts as several construction projects are underway.
Rehabilitation of Hawkeye Avenue between Dels Lane and Olive Avenue is being performed concurrently with construction on Geer Road between Monte Vista and Taylor Road.
The Hawkeye project is a total repaving of the road with the addition of sidewalks and American Disabilities Act compliant elements, like truncated domes and handicap ramps. The manholes will also be lowered two inches and the asphalt will be grinded down as well to create a smoother surface. The cost of the project is roughly $1.5 million and is funded by gas tax funds and Regional Surface Transportation Program federal funds.
"Hopefully soon we'll see some activity to make that road a whole lot better than it is today," Director of Development Services Mike Pitcock told the Turlock City Council at their May 12 meeting.
The Geer Road project is being split into two portions: micro surfacing between Monte Vista Avenue and Calaveras Way and a full overlay between Calaveras Way and Taylor Road, the same level of project being completed on Hawkeye Avenue. The Geer Road project is also funded by RSP funds and gas tax funds at a total amount of $1.2 million.
No general funds are being used for the Hawkeye Avenue or the Geer Road Rehabilitation project.
Pedestrian improvements are now being performed at Drew Avenue where comprehensive storm and sewer improvements have been underway. The underground piping for that project is complete and paving will take place soon.
Crowell Road near California State University, Stanislaus is being modified to become more pedestrian friendly as the City is installing four rectangular flashing signs to create better visibility for students, residents of the neighboring apartments, as well as community members of the Paramount Court Senior Living Center who often traverse the area. Pitcock said that three of the four flashing beacons sent from the manufacturer did not work so the City is working to correct that at the moment.
Bulb-outs are also being installed, which are a form of curb extensions. The bulb-outs narrow the roads at crosswalks in order to create an additional sidewalk space for pedestrians waiting to cross, in turn highlighting their visibility.
It was announced in February that the university will be contributing 60 percent of the costs and the City will front the remaining 40 percent from funds that have already been budgeted for the Crowell Road project.
In the next few weeks the City will also begin replacing a water main near the intersection of Canal Drive and East Main Street. An underground trenching project may cause lane closures during construction.
There is also an additional $200,000 in Congestion, Mitigation, and Air Quality Improvement, or CMAQ, funds in the City’s coffers as a neighboring agency released the money after a project took a different direction. The money is being used on a traffic signal at the intersection of Tegner Road and West Main Street, a project that was previously underfunded.
“The traffic signals enhance air quality by minimizing stop and go traffic and idling vehicles. That why they qualify for CMAQ funds,” explained Pitcock.
The City is also applying for six grants to further its Active Transportation Plan, which intends to better pedestrian and cycling mobility in Turlock. Some of the projects include adding sidewalks and building bike lanes.
Some safety related improvements may also be on the horizon as the City is putting together projects to submit to the Highways Safety Improvement Program. This program grants funding for safety related projects, which the City has had success with before, and this time intends to use the funds to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Wayside Drive and Olive Avenue where pedestrian crossings have been an issue.