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Road Work, Celebration Schedule Set For Holiday
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Just in time for the holiday - and the unofficial start of the summer vacation season - road work will likely be causing some delays soon along Escalon-Bellota Road. There will also be some closures for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 31 and a full day of events in Escalon to mark the holiday on Saturday, May 29.

The road work, which will see closure of a portion of Escalon-Bellota Road between Mariposa and Dodds, is scheduled to begin today, Wednesday, May 26, weather permitting. Work will include widening and realignment of Escalon-Bellota at the intersection with Mariposa and it is scheduled to last through July 6.

"We'll be closing the road at Escalon-Bellota just north of Mariposa and they're going to be doing some work on the Mariposa portion but there will be pass through traffic there, with minor delays, possibly one way traffic control," said San Joaquin County Public Works Department Field Engineer John Robles, who is supervising the project. "Escalon-Bellota north of Mariposa to Dodds is scheduled to be closed."

Detours will be in place, motorists should use Dodds Road as the detour and then connect with Mariposa or Escalon-Bellota.

"Right now, it's kind of a curved 'T' in the road," Robles added of the stop sign and intersection at Escalon-Bellota and Mariposa. "We're aligning it to make it safer, realigning the curve."

Tom Mayo Construction, Inc. of Stockton was the low bidder on the project and is doing the work, with the cost at just over $512,000. Funding is provided though the state for the realignment work.

Portable signs alerting motorists to the closure were put up over the weekend and Robles said crews were doing some prep work Monday and Tuesday, in advance of the actual start of the project on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the weekend traffic will likely be heavy because of the three-day Memorial Day holiday. Police are urging extra caution on the highways and remind drivers to make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up. Use a designated driver if you plan to drink, officials added, and be alert for the road closures.

In Escalon, a special celebration is planned to mark the Memorial Day holiday on Saturday, with the 'Wheels of Freedom' day including a parade, military vehicles show, vintage plane flyover, booths, food and entertainment. The bulk of the activities will be centered around the city's Main Street Park and downtown area, starting with the plane flyover at 10 a.m. to kick off the parade.

American Legion Gustafson-Thompson Post 263 of Escalon, in cooperation with the American Legion Riders, is putting on the celebration.

Proceeds from the day will go to programs that assist and honor veterans, said organizer Harold Peterson. The local Legion will use donations in support of POW/MIA efforts, veterans' benefit issues, rehabilitation programs to assist returning veterans get back into civilian life, and promote and support youth through scholarships and educational programs.

Event sponsorships are available for $100 and up, and there is an entry fee of $20 for vehicles put in the display. For more information about the event or how you can get involved, call 847-4432.

Monday, Memorial Day, will mean closure of city offices, the Post Office, the library, banks and schools. Businesses have the option of closing.