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More Work Slated On McHenry
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Funds from the Measure K program in San Joaquin County will be utilized again in Escalon, as work is set to resume on the McHenry Avenue widening project.

Started several years ago with the McHenry and Highway 120 realignment project, the work was also scheduled to include improvements to Escalon Avenue to the north and McHenry Avenue to the south. Much of the work has been completed, but there are still portions of McHenry that need to be widened, to create the five-lane corridor. There are already two lanes each way and a turn lane on a portion of the avenue, but additional work is required to complete the widening southward toward the bridge at the San Joaquin-Stanislaus County line.

"There are nine parcels remaining that McHenry will be widened in front of," explained Escalon City Engineer John Abrew. "They're all on the east side, from First Street to just north of Narcissus."

Members of the Escalon City Council have approved the environmental document accompanying the project, which now will move in to the property appraisal and right of way acquisition phase.

"How we'll go about it is we'll bring in an expert in those types of services," Abrew said of getting the appraisal. "We anticipate being through that this year."

The appraisal and completion of engineering documents for the widening will constitute Phase 1, said Abrew, with the actual construction work being Phase 2. He's looking at a mid-2010 start date for the widening to get under way. Completion is anticipated in 2011.

"We'll have two southbound and two northbound lanes, with a turn lane in the middle, like it is already in front of Ace Hardware, the Civic Center," Abrew added. "Once we start it, it won't take that long to complete."

Funds, again, are coming from the San Joaquin County Measure K sales tax initiative, with no funds required from the city for the widening project.