Farmersville gets cracking on Walnut Avenue improvements

City seeks construction management, engineering services on three projects to fill in gaps of curbs, gutters, sidewalks both east and west of Farmersville Boulevard

By Crystal Havner
Reporting for the Sun-Gazette

FARMERSVILLE – The city of Farmersville is finally ready to get cracking on improving Walnut Avenue. 

At its Nov. 25 meeting, the Farmersville City Council authorized staff to seek out construction management and engineering services for three projects on Walnut Avenue. The most notable of the projects will add sidewalks, curbs and gutters and pave the way for a future bicycle lane along Walnut at the northern edge of the city’s sports park. The new stretch of sidewalk will connect the existing sidewalks at Jack in the Box at the corner of Farmersville Boulevard to Freedom Drive across from the high school campus. The city is unable to mirror the project on the north side of Walnut Avenue because it is outside of the city limits. The $608,000 project was funded on June 27 with State transportation funding.

The funding includes $25,762.03 for planning and design documents and $33,511.08 for actual construction. The funds were secured by TCAG from the State of California’s Local Transportation Fund, derived from a quarter-cent tax on general sales collected statewide. City manager Jennifer Gomez said construction of the project was awarded for $331,000.

The perimeter of the northern half of the sports park has already been graded in preparation for another project to plant trees along the exterior of the park to provide shade for families using the portion of land that is slated for baseball and softball fields as well as a concession stand. The trees and plantings will be funded with $290,000 from CalFire’s Urban Forestry Grant awarded to the city in the summer of 2016. The estimated cost of the project is $144,000.

The city council is also seeking construction management and engineering services on two projects on West Walnut. One project will fill in the gaps of curbs, gutters and sidewalks from Farmersville Boulevard to the western city limits and add a ladder-style crosswalk with blinking lights and a pedestrian refuge with signage at the intersection of Ventura Avenue. The second project on the west side will reconstruct the pavement from Farmersville Boulevard to the western city limits.

Caltrans directed City staff to combine the two projects and since both projects are within the same street segment, they will be awarded to one contractor. The West Walnut Avenue improvements had not been awarded as of press time but are estimated to cost $1.8 million. 

All expenditures of the project will be financed through the state’s Active Transportation Program (ATP) funds, primarily used for bicycle and safe routes to school projects, and Measure R, the half-cent transportation tax approved by county voters in 2006.

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