Tuolumne Road Crosses Railroad Tracks Once Again, Continues to Countryside Drive

After TurlockCityNews.com reported that the Tuolumne Rd. and Golden State Blvd. intersection was scheduled for an April 14th opening and that City Engineer Mike Pitcock said that it would open “soon,” the intersection was opened on Wednesday, April 15th.

The busy intersection that leads to Wal-Mart and across a major railroad crossing has been a construction project since around August of 2007.


The entire Tuolumne and Golden State intersection was totally closed and blocked off. Special detour routes were made to get to destinations along Golden State such as the Assyrian American Civic Club.


Golden State Blvd. was opened back up within about 6 months, as was Tuolumne on the east side of Golden State. The west side of Tuolumne where it crossed over the railroad tracks remained closed until April 15, 2009.


Why did it take so long?


“Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of the railroad,” said Turlock City Engineer Mike Pitcock. “If you remember, we had the three legs of the intersection open within 6 months (plus or minus).”


Pitcock explained further that “The remainder of the time, we have been waiting for the railroad to build their improvements and then provide a railroad flagman during our construction operations within their railroad. Even though they were complete with the concrete crossing and new gates, we had to wait a lot because we had no flagman available to us.”


The Turlock City Council has been hearing updates such as “… the intersection could be open anytime now“ or “the intersection may be open for Christmas shopping.” Well, neither of those forecasts happened but it is open now.


The Tuolumne Road intersection and railroad crossing leads to the north side of Wal-Mart and to the south side of Monte Vista Crossings shopping center. The popular intersection was busy before Tuolumne even went through to Countryside Drive that provides north to south traffic through Monte Vista Crossings to the Wal-Mart and Food Maxx shopping areas.


Since the 2007 start of construction, Centennial Park was built on the southeast corner of Tuolumne Rd. and Countryside Dr. while the projected 2011 Miracle League Field at Snider Park is an approved project in the works to be located at the northeast corner of Tuolumne Rd. and Countryside Dr.


Tuolumne road is driven by many Turlock citizens as a cross-town thoroughfare from out past Daubenberger all the way to Monte Vista Crossings. Everything has developed it to be such except… the speed bumps and round-a-bouts between Geer Rd. and Golden State Blvd.


Sorry recent former Turlock City Council Members and Mayor John Lazar, but this is your cue Ed Brault.


Project History:


A preliminary layout was done in 1999. The reason for the project was to eliminate the large elevation change across the intersection, increased capacity and add signalization in accordance with the NW Triangle master plan traffic study.


It was said that Wal-Mart was going to pay for this work to be done if the Wal-Mart Supercenter was approved to open at the Monte Vista Crossings location. The fact reported by the city was that Wal-Mart was not going to have to pay for it but rather construct it. The improvements would be reimbursed to Wal-Mart through fee credits and payments from the Capital Facilities Fees.


The projects were funded around 2006. The funding was from CFF (Transportation) and the City of Turlock received a grant from the federal government for the signal work.


The project’s beginning construction date was August 20, 2007.


The intersection was totally closed and blocked of, but Golden State Boulevard was reopened and was a thoroughfare again within about 6 months. Tuolumne Road on the east side of Golden State was also reopened.


The west side of the Tuolumne intersection remained closed due to the wait on the railroad work where it crossed.


Estimations of reopening were made continually after the first 9 nine months.


Expectations and big hopes of reopening for the 2008 Christmas shopping season were expressed at Turlock City Council Meetings previous to the season.


The intersection was opened on April 15, 2009.

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