Stanislaus County is designing a major project to replace the Crows Landing Road bridge over the San Joaquin River, which is a link between Interstate 5 and Modesto.
The 65-year-old span is among bridges due for retrofits to make them safe during an earthquake and is considered “functionally obsolete.” In addition, a 2011 state Department of Transportation report said the 670-foot bridge, located 12 miles south of Modesto, could sustain damage in a large flood.
Public Works Director Matt Machado said the county plans to replace the two-lane span with a wider bridge sporting five lanes. The proposed bridge would have two lanes in each direction and a lane for eastbound motorists to turn onto Carpenter Road.
The county expects to start work in 2017. Money from the state’s highway bridge and seismic retrofit programs, plus county public facility fees, are supposed to pay for the $18.5 million replacement.
The new bridge would be constructed just north of the old one. Drivers would use the older bridge during construction, then traffic would be switched over and the old bridge demolished.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a consent item Tuesday to purchase a 1-acre easement from the Joseph and Maria Medeiros family trust for $21,000. Machado said one or two other right-of-way purchases are required.
In another item, supervisors could approve $80,000 in contingency funds to cover a second cost overrun for the Parklawn neighborhood improvements. That pushes the total for unexpected costs to $160,000.
The $2.9 million Parklawn project included sewer lines, repaved roads and drainage improvements for the unincorporated island in south Modesto, off Hatch Road just west of Highway 99. Public Works needed to buy more asphalt and other material to finish the road work and had extra costs for completing a pump station, a staff report says.
In November, the board approved an initial $80,000 in contingency funds for “unforeseen and unexpected conditions” in the field. According to the report, it is not unusual to run into extra costs with underground utility work.
If supervisors give approval Tuesday, the contingency funds will be offset by reducing allocations for construction inspection and materials testing.
Machado said the project is done, and homeowners should be able to connect to Modesto’s wastewater service in June or July. Problems with failed septic tanks have created unsanitary conditions in the neighborhood for years.
The county continues to hear residents’ complaints about dirt catch basins that were dug in easements in front of Parklawn homes. Designed to prevent street flooding, the basins eliminate parking spaces and become mud puddles when it rains.
“Some of these folks are filling the holes back in,” said Dennis Casey, who has railed against the basins. “You can’t park your car anywhere. The whole thing was not thought out.”
Machado suggested that residents plant “no-mow” grass in the basins to eliminate the mud. He added the county will waive an encroachment permit fee for Parklawn homeowners willing to pay for sidewalks.
Plans for the project had included sidewalks for the 326-home neighborhood, but the county did not receive the grant funding.
To review the status of 22 bridge projects in Stanislaus County, go to www.stancounty.com/publicworks/pdf/bridge-repair-projects.pdf.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.
AT A GLANCE
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors will hold a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto. The following items are on the agenda:
▪ A 5:45 p.m. closed session to confer with legal counsel on litigation.
▪ A report on the Stanislaus County Employees Retirement Association from Executive Director Rick Santos.
▪ Consider a resale policy for affordable housing properties of the former county redevelopment agency. The policy would apply to seven Habitat for Humanity homes in the airport neighborhood, which are being sold for above-market value. E&J Gallo Winery is offering to buy six of the homes to make room for its new office building. The property sales will pay off the agency loans and the owners will buy affordable dwellings in other Habitat developments.