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One Final Dig On McHenry
For what likely will be the last time, Escalon City Council members have dug shovels in to dirt along McHenry Avenue and done the ceremonial first dig, as they near the end of a multi-pronged improvement project along the corridor.

The latest is touted as the final piece of the McHenry Avenue widening and improvement project, being funded through Measure K.

"We awarded the bid on Oct. 1, we had opened them on Sept. 20," explained Escalon interim City Manager John Abrew. "It's a 90-day contract and it will widen McHenry to five lanes."

Portions of McHenry are already at that width but this project will complete the five lane system from First Street down to Narcissus.

Council members met at the scene late afternoon Monday, Oct. 15 for the 'dig' and construction crews are scheduled to start the actual work on the project today, Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Taylor Backhoe Service of Merced was the winning bidder for the work, with five bids submitted and reviewed. The bid for the work by Taylor was $1,072,476.

Original work on the McHenry project several years ago saw the installation of the signal lights to create the controlled stop at the confluence of Main Street, Escalon-Bellota Road, McHenry Avenue and Highway 120 and the widening project has also resulted in the removal of several structures at different points along the route.

Abrew said the latest project will include not only the widening work on the remainder of the avenue but also some overlay and repairs to sidewalks in the area that had concrete damage from trees lining the street that have grown out and caused some cracking and bulging in the sidewalks.

Weather permitting, crews should be able to keep up a steady pace on the project and complete it by early 2013.