All four lanes of G Street will open for traffic the afternoon of Dec. 3, according to the City of Merced. The street had been closed for the construction of an underpass at the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe tracks.
“We want to get the word out so that businesses and schools can start planning for the road opening,” said Mayor Bill Spriggs. “The road closure has been a huge inconvenience for everyone in the City, but now drivers will no longer get stopped by trains at these tracks. This will allow emergency vehicles to cross town quicker and it will improve the flow of traffic.”
The City will hold a Community Celebration and Pedestrian Preview of the underpass beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. A formal dedication of the project will be held at noon.
The $18 million project is funded by:
California Transportation Commission $9 million
Merced Redevelopment Agency $4.8 million
City Public Facility Financing (Impact fees) $2.3 million
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe RR $1.9 million
In addition, the City spent another $2.4 million for improvements in the project area, including a $1.1 million water line replacement. No general fund money was used in the project. The money spend on the underpass could not be spent to pay for police or fire personnel.
The underpass is the largest road project in the City’s history. It involved the complete reconstruction of the railroad crossing, the installation of 45 pilings to hold the bridge and the construction of a massive storm water drainage system. In addition, the project involved rerouting sewer and water lines, along with moving natural gas lines and power poles.
The paving schedule was moved up to October to beat the early winter storm that dumped an inch of rain on the City. Staff estimates work would have been delayed at least three to four weeks to dry everything out if the asphalt had not been laid prior to the storm’s arrival.
“Even though the road is paved, there’s still a lot of work to be done before G Street opens for traffic,” said City Manager John Bramble. “We want to have it open quickly, but we want it done right. There are only 16 working days left before the road opens.”
Some of the work that needs to be done: A 36-inch and 30-inch storm drain pipes still needs to be tested, along with the five pumps to drain water, the electrical systems and seven control panels. An emergency generator, security cameras, guard rails and hand rails need to be installed. Landscapers will finish planting the 6,000 bushes and 200 trees that will decorate the project.
Even after G Street opens crews will be finishing up on the project. The traffic signals at 26th Street, which weren’t part of the original project, will be made operational, concrete will be poured at the car wash and the contractor will clean up the work site.
Information on the project will be posted on this website and also will be available for review in the City Engineers Office on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.
Detour maps for the G Street Undercrossing project. Click here
11/3/08 Administrative Report and Meeting Minutes. Click here
Public Comment Summary from the 10/23/08 public meeting. Click here
Neighborhood Traffic Calming Guidelines. Click here
Citizens' Advisory Ad-Hoc Committee (CAC) page for an application. Click here
Citizens' Advisory Committee 2009 Agendas. Click here
Citizen's Advisory Committee 2009 Minutes. Click here
Citizen's Advisory Committee 2009 Reports. Click here