With the extensive McHenry Avenue Improvement Project nearing its completion, representatives from the San Joaquin County Department of Public Works recently brought Escalon City Council members up to date, on hand at a council session to provide an overview and update.
Officials said that work on the project – including replacing the Stanislaus River Bridge at McHenry Avenue and River Road, spanning both San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, was one major piece of the project. Also included was the replacement of a bridge over the South San Joaquin Irrigation District canal north of the intersection and – still to be done – the installation of signal lights at the intersection.
Officials said while the signal lights are installed, replacing the temporary roundabout, or ‘beanabout’ in the area, motorists can expect lengthy delays, possibly up to 30 minutes. One official noted it could be considered ‘carmageddon’ in the short term, but worth it when the work is complete.
The $32 million dollar project included federal, state and local funds and was a collaborative effort of Stanislaus and San Joaquin County Public Works Departments, SSJID, six utility companies and Caltrans.
The original bridge across the Stanislaus River was built in 1959. The new version addressed all the structural deficiencies in the original bridge and also meets new, stringent seismic requirements.
Officials said about 13,000 vehicles per day cross over the bridge and the route itself is a crucial one in terms of linking the two counties and providing transportation routes for a variety of goods.
Work on replacing the roundabout with the signal lights – both of which are different from the original four-way stop signs – is expected to start the second week in October and take a couple of weeks to complete. It is during this time that motorists are being asked to use alternate routes or plan for the delay.
Additional information is available on the project website, improvemchenry.com.