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Escalon Projects Earn COG Funds
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Over $600,000 has been awarded to the City of Escalon for a pair of projects under Measure K, the announcement of the funding made this past week by the San Joaquin Council of Governments.

“We submitted five projects,” noted Escalon City Manager Tammy Alcantor.

In some cases, those projects not funded scored well enough, she added, but there wasn’t enough money in the Measure K coffers to provide the funding.

Still, Alcantor said the two projects awarded funding are key ones in the city.

One continues improvements on First Street and that project – with a total cost estimated at $730,000 – received $500,000 from the Council of Governments.

“This project will repair damaged sidewalks, close sidewalk gaps, install high visibility crosswalks, plant landscaping to provide a buffer strip between pedestrians and traffic, and improve ADA access across the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) railroad tracks on First Street between McHenry Avenue and Main Street in Escalon,” noted the announcement from COG.

Also, in a project financed entirely with Measure K funds, the city will install ‘Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons’ at three locations. The project cost, estimated at $130,000 was awarded the full amount requested.

“This project will install three Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFB) in conjunction with high visibility crosswalk striping to increase safety and connectivity for pedestrians at crosswalks in Escalon,” the COG report stated.

They are scheduled to be installed on Escalon Avenue between Arthur Road and Miller Avenue; on California Street (State Route 120) at Sacramento Street; and along Jackson Avenue (State Route 120) at Elizabeth Avenue.

Countywide, the SJCOG Board awarded $19.63 million in the Measure K ‘Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Safe Routes to School’ Program and Smart Growth Incentive Program Funds.

Alcantor said one project the city was hoping to receive funding for was on Escalon Avenue, for assistance with a bike lane and sidewalk improvements.

“We scored well enough but they ran out of money,” Alcantor said.

Other submitted projects in Escalon that did not receive the funds were bike and pedestrian pathways work from First through Fourth streets in the Main Street Park area and also from Third Street to St. John.

“There is a different round of funding coming up and we will be submitting those again,” Alcantor said.

Along with the Escalon projects, the COG funding went to a variety of projects in Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Stockton and Tracy.

The funding was approved at the Thursday, Feb. 22 meeting of the SJCOG Board with 21 projects and plans awarded.

SJCOG received far more applications than it was able to fund, officials said. A total of 40 applications were received requesting more than $39 million in funding.

The San Joaquin Council of Governments serves as the local transportation authority overseeing Measure K, the local half-cent transportation sales tax, for the San Joaquin region. It is a joint powers authority including the County of San Joaquin and the cities of Stockton, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy, Ripon, Escalon, and Lathrop.