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West Main to close Monday
Work expected to start soon on Fulkerth interchange
West Main closure
West Main Street will be closed from Lander Avenue to West Avenue South starting Monday and through most of the summer months as crews work on a total renovation of the aged roadway (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

Upcoming construction projects will see the closure of a main thoroughfare to downtown and partial closures to one of the city’s key intersections off Highway 99.

Both east and westbound lanes of West Main Street between Lander and West avenues are set to close to traffic on Monday, as crews begin work on Phase II of the city’s first Measure L-funded road project.

“The anticipated completion is right around the start of school. We’ll be doing everything we can to push the contractor to have the area in front of the school free and clear before teachers and kids start arriving,” said Development Services Director/City Engineer Nathan Bray.

Detours will be in place during the four months West Main Street is expected to be closed to traffic and local businesses want the community to know they will be open during construction.

“We are going to be open. At least one entrance on West Main will be open. The entrance to the shopping center on Olive will be open, as well as the entrances behind the store,” said Cost Less manager Oscar Avila.

While Avila is concerned about the road being closed during the grocery store’s busiest time of year, from Easter through summer, he said “in the long run it will be an improvement for the store and Turlock.”

Wholesale Tire and Wheel owner Dhillon Gurmail is hoping that customers coming from east Turlock will continue to make their way to his locally-owned shop by way of Columbia Avenue to Radio Street.

“The road was closed for four to five months last year and we lost 40 percent of business,” said Gurmail.

The road closures Gurmail referenced included the time lanes were closed along West Main Street to install new sewer lines, said Assistant City Engineer and West Main Street Project manager Randy Jones.

Jones said he and Bray have personally met with a majority of businesses that will be affected by the construction project and will work with them to minimize impacts.

“Part of the contract for the project is that access to businesses be maintained,” he said.

Work began in 2018 on Phase I of the West Main Project, just west of S. Walnut Road to West Avenue South, and included utility improvements and the installation of new medians.

Phase II includes a complete reconstruction of West Main Street from West Avenue South to Lander Avenue. The actual roadway will be enlarged and shifted to the south. Underground utilities will be removed and reinstalled; new curbs, gutters and sidewalks will be relocated and placed; the Sycamore trees on the south side of the street — along with a few on the north side — will also be removed.

Once construction work is completed, the roadway on West Main Street from Lander Avenue down to just past S. Walnut Road will receive an overlay.

The total cost of the West Main Street project is expected to be around $9.34 million — $6.089 million from Measure L funds and more than $3.25 million in City funds designated for infrastructure improvements. Teichert Construction is the contractor on this project.

On the heels of the West Main Street Project is the Fulkerth/Highway 99 interchange improvements.

Work on the Fulkerth interchange project is also expected to kickoff within the next several weeks.

“Once they do start, the anticipated timeline is roughly 12 months. The intersection won’t be closed that entire time, it will actually be on and off ramps will just be closed for a short duration of that time. But there will be a lot of construction work in that area and a lot of lane shifts and narrowing down to one lane. So, there will be delays there,” said Bray.

The project will include the relocation of the southbound on and off ramps, widening of the undercrossing, new curbs, gutter and sidewalks, improvements to the surface of Fulkerth Road and the installation of traffic signals on both northbound and southbound on and off ramps.

The project will be paid for with $5.5 million allocated to the City for specifically improvements to the Fulkerth Road interchange from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account and Program. The remaining funding will come from the Capital Facilities Fee fund, which is developer fees paid to the City for projects related to growth.