MODESTO — Construction should start in May on Modesto’s $54.76 million project to replace its outmoded, three-lane Pelandale Avenue-Highway 99 interchange with a new one that will reduce congestion and double the interchange’s capacity.
City Engineer Bill Sandhu included the expected start date in his project update to the City Council on Tuesday. The council approved the plans and specifications for the project and authorized city officials to enter into a nearly $31 million construction contract with Fowler-based Teichert/MCM.
While a new interchange should make drivers happier, they can expect headaches because of traffic delays during construction, which is expected to take two years.
Sandhu said the city is working on staying ahead of that curve by limiting traffic delays and keeping drivers informed.
He said the city will take steps to minimize motorists’ frustrations. It will coordinate work with other road projects, such as Stanislaus County’s nearby project to upgrade the Kiernan Avenue-Highway 99 interchange. The county says it expects construction on the Kiernan project to wrap up in summer 2016.
Sandhu said the city will have an extensive public information campaign, which will include an interactive website that sends alerts to subscribers and a 24/7 project phone number.
Modesto is receiving $43.8 million in state bond money for construction of the interchange. Sandhu said the city expects to return about $2.7 million of that because of lower construction costs. Total construction costs are estimated at $41.7 million, with the city providing several hundred thousand dollars of that.
The project’s other costs are a little more than $13 million for environmental and design work and the purchase of right of way.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2316.