A long-awaited expressway from Turlock to Patterson moved one step closer to reality Tuesday.
The Stanislaus County Council of Governments Policy Board unanimously approved commissioning a new, $350,000 study into the feasibility of constructing a South County Corridor on Wednesday.
“I think this is going to be a good jumpstart to the south county,” said Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, who represents Turlock.
StanCOG initially approved a South County Corridor study on Nov. 20. The planning agency was set to pay for the entire, $200,000 cost.
But after talking with Stanislaus County and the cities of Turlock, Newman, and Patterson, it was determined that the study needed to be more in-depth than initially proposed. The extra scope of work will increase the study’s cost to $350,000.
Stanislaus County will pay for $100,000 of the cost increase, while Turlock and Patterson will pay $22,000 each and Newman will contribute $6,000. All three cities’ councils must still approve the expenditure.
The South County Corridor is likely to follow West Main Street to the San Joaquin River, though some alternate routes may be considered. The majority of work will be focused on crossing the San Joaquin River, and the ensuing route to meet up with Interstate 5.
"To the river is pretty much chosen,” Chiesa said. “It's what's going to happen west of the San Joaquin."
After the study is complete, planners will face a second challenge: finding funding to construct the corridor. The South County Corridor was to be one of three projects funded as part of a proposed, countywide half-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation, but StanCOG has abandoned plans to put the tax on the ballot.