City to begin work on $5M Alta Street project

© 2018-Gonzales Tribune

GONZALES — A major pavement construction project is set to take place on Alta Street that is projected to take four to five months and cost about $5 million.

“This is a significant step for the city,” said City Manager Rene Mendez. “It’s a significant project. It’s a project that when all is said and done we’re looking at over $5 million, and it’s going to have a lot of moving parts.”

A bid contract resolution was taken before the Gonzales City Council members on Oct. 2 to award the contract to Granite Construction for $3,785,473. Public Works Director Harold Walgomott asked on behalf of the city for $540,000 to cover the design, inspection, analysis and support of the project. There would also be a contingency fund of half a million dollars.

The project will be from 10th Street to south of the cemetery.

“Most everyone is enthused about improving the quality of the pavement,” Walgomott said. “Our workers that drive across South Alta every day and hit the bumps are welcoming the intended improvement.”

According to Walgomott, the Alta Street repavement project will impact everyone who drives on that side of town. The City is working with nearby businesses and will continue to as construction progresses. The contractor has also agreed to work with the businesses.

Utility bill flyers and weekly updates to the City Council will also be issued to cover how the project is progressing.

Alta Street will have two 12-foot travel lanes similar to lanes on Highway 101 and a 10-foot turn lane in the middle. The biggest expense of the repavement project is building a road strong enough for the trucks that pass through.

“We learned from the pavement analysis expert that a truck counts for 15,000 cars,” Walgomott said. “So when you do traffic counts trying to figure out how strong you need to build it you don’t count the cars, you count the trucks.”

The north and south ends of Alta Street have a proposal that includes speed indicating signs that will be solar powered.

Concerns have been raised about C Street and seeing the traffic coming in. The proposed plan will make the streets parallel to the C Street intersection. That would improve the turn lane so that drivers can turn onto C Street better, come off C Street easier, and the parking that was parallel will be changed to diagonal. 

“We are adding parking spots here,” Walgomott said.  “There will be some other parking that will be affected.”

On the 200 block of Alta Street there is parking on the west side that is unsafe and will be eliminated with the current pavement proposal.

Due to the businesses that are located near Alta Street, construction is being pushed to the “rainy” season to have construction completed by the spring for the agricultural businesses that need Alta Street to bring in produce and get employees to and from work. According to Walgomott, if it is a super rainy season, the project could take through March into the first of April. Walgamott is hoping to get the project started by the end of October and be done by February.

A public meeting to inform the community and gather concerns from the public on the Alta Street pavement project is set for Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 117 Fourth St.

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