Modesto to spend $1.7M to upgrade 2-mile stretch of Briggsmore Avenue

local@modbee.comJune 7, 2014 

— Modesto will spend about $1.7 million to improve roughly 2 miles of Briggsmore Avenue by installing a sidewalk and bike lane and resurfacing the road to extend its life by seven to nine years.

City Engineer Bill Sandhu said construction should start within two weeks and take about 70 days to complete. The City Council last week approved the project’s plans and the awarding of the construction contract to George Reed Inc. Construction costs are estimated at $1.74 million, with $1.43 million of that for George Reed.

About 87 percent of the $1.74 million is from the state’s Regional Surface Transportation Program. The city also has spent $250,000 for design, engineering and other work for the project.

The endeavor includes resurfacing Briggsmore from 500 feet west of McHenry Avenue to Sisk Road with a treatment called microsurfacing, which city officials say is far less expensive than resurfacing the road with asphalt and will extend the life of the road by seven to nine years.

A 6-foot-wide bike lane will be installed on the north side of Briggsmore along the roughly 2 miles. There will be a 4-foot-wide buffer between the bike lane and traffic. Construction workers also will upgrade the curb ramps to Americans With Disabilities Act standards and install 1,800 feet of sidewalk on the north side of Briggsmore from Carver Road to the shopping complex to the west.

Sandhu said in an email that the sidewalk and bike lane complement Modesto’s vision of building what he calls “multimodal streets,” which provide residents with safe transportation choices. Another reason for the sidewalk is that residents living near Carver Road walk the dirt path along Briggsmore to get to the shopping complex.

This is not the only city project to improve transportation options. In April, the council approved taking about $3 million from the city’s surface transportation fund reserves to fix more than a dozen miles of some of its most heavily traveled roads and to install bike lanes along them. The roads include stretches of Standiford Avenue, Tully Road, College Avenue, Orangeburg Avenue and Ninth Street.

City officials have said gas taxes are the primary source of surface transportation funds. Sandhu said work on this project is in the design phase and he expects construction to start in late summer.

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