Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Council to Discuss Future of Turlock Roads

Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com

The Turlock City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss roadways, interchanges, and corridors in Turlock.

Council will receive an update from staff on the future of the City of Turlock’s transportation network, including interchanges, corridors, and the surface conditions of existing streets.

Turlock City Council will also consider and discuss the various long-term options for funding street maintenance.

In 2013, Nichols Consulting Engineers surveyed the entire street network and found that Turlock roads were “at risk.”

Using the Pavement Condition Index (PCI), a scale from 0 to 100, they determined that Turlock roads were at 67 PCI — making them at risk. Failed roads score 0 to 24 PCI; poor roads score 25 to 49; at risk roads score 50 to 69; and good to excellent roads score 70 to 100.

According to the survey, 54 percent of Turlock roads were “good to excellent,” with 23 percent being “at risk,” 20 percent “poor,” and 3 percent “failed.”

Compared to surrounding cities — which includes Modesto, Hughson, Ceres, Patterson, Waterford, Newman, Oakdale, and Riverbank — Turlock has the second worst roads, behind only Modesto (63 PCI); Hughson had the best roads (82 PCI).

The main issue with the decay of Turlock roads has been funding. Current funding for roads exists only through assessment districts (maintenance only), Regional Surface Transportation Program, Gas Tax, and the $50,000 from the General Fund.

However, the Gas Tax is declining, according to staff, due to more fuel efficient vehicles. Staff estimates that the Gas Tax in 2014-15 will generate $737,513, but will drop to $353,131 in 2015-16.

According to staff, with current funding, approximately $1.25 million per year, roads will be at a PCI of 61 in five year and 33 in 20 years. The deferred maintenance would also greatly increase if funding continues at current rates.

A proposed half-cent sales tax, that was estimated to generate approximately $5 million per year for roads, was placed on the November 2014 ballot, however Turlock voters did not approve the tax. Funding of approximately $6.25 million per year would benefit Turlock roads in the immediate future, but in 20 years Turlock would be in the same place as it is now.

It is estimated that it would cost $11.4 million per year over the next 20 years to get Turlock to a PCI of 80 and maintain it.

One member of Council who said he could not support the half-cent sales tax was Mayor Gary Soiseth. Soiseth has been in favor of a countywide tax to benefit roads.

“I was critical of the proposed sales tax increase on the city-level, largely because I believe Turlock’s transportation needs—whether they be local roadways, highway interchanges, or regional corridors—are best addressed through regional solutions,” said Soiseth during his State of the City address.

Soiseth has appointed himself to the Stanislaus Council of Government (StanCOG) in order to push a county tax that benefits Turlock.

Although estimated revenue for Turlock roads in a countywide tax are not yet available, it is clear that the City of Turlock needs funding to better local roads.

Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. 

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