Dinuba steers $4M to major street improvements

Dinuba Mayor Maribel Reynosa introduces a workshop discussion item during the Dinuba City Council meeting June 25, 2024. The council reviewed street improvements that will be coming to the city within the next year.(Serena Bettis)

Dinuba City Council prioritizes College Avenue, El Monte Way and Kamm Avenue roadway improvements

DINUBA – The city of Dinuba is not ready to put roadwork in its rearview mirror just yet, as city staff have plans to take on additional street improvement projects this year.

Following the ongoing Kamm/Alta roundabout construction, the completed improvements to Nebraska Avenue and more, segments of three other regularly-trafficked roads will receive upgrades. The Dinuba City Council decided to prioritize the rehabilitation of College Avenue, El Monte Way and Kamm Avenue during a June 25 workshop where the council reviewed city streets with the most need.

“I know there are other local streets that need attention, but for now what we’re looking at is a pot of money that we can access through Measure R, but those are only for corridors, not for local streets,” City Manager Luis Patlan said.

Dinuba has $4 million in funding available for street improvement projects, with $3 million coming from the Tulare County Measure R fund and the other $1 million coming from the city’s local operating funds. City Engineer Jason Watts presented the council with six projects that, based on staff analysis and the city’s pavement management system, identified sections of word that “need the most help,” Watts said.

The council agreed with the staff recommendation to prioritize the projects along College, El Monte and Kamm because all three can be completed and be fully funded with the money available to the city. According to a staff report, construction will cost $1.2 million along College, $1.7 million along El Monte and $1.1 million along Kamm.

Watts also pointed out that the sections of College and Kamm being addressed will likely serve as the main roads residents use to get to the new Dinuba High School. City staff recommended starting on those projects as soon as possible to ensure minimal interruption to traffic once school is back in session.

For these projects, the city plans to complete rehabilitation work along El Monte and Kamm and fully reconstruct a section of College. Watts said that when analyzing the condition of College Avenue, it was clear “there was no saving this one.”

The project along College Avenue will address the section of the road that runs south of the railroad tracks at Uruapan Way all the way to Kamm. To reconstruct the road, construction crews will remove the old asphalt concrete and base down to the native material and then rebuild a new pavement section with a thicker base and asphalt section, according to the staff report. 

As part of the College Avenue project, the city will also replace the water main line located under the road that the public works department has to perform maintenance on frequently, Watts said. Full reconstruction would require road closures, which city staff said they would be sure to schedule appropriately so as to minimize the impact to residents.

The rehabilitation projects will take place along East El Monte, between Crawford Avenue and Road 92, and along Kamm Avenue, between Greene Avenue and College. These projects will not require full road closures and will consist of grinding off a portion of the old asphalt, performing repairs to the base of the road and repaving the top portion of the road.

Construction plans also include the addition of median islands in spots along Kamm and El Monte that are wide enough to accommodate them. Watts said median islands provide a lot of safety benefits, including reduced vehicle speeds and refuges for pedestrians crossing the road. These median islands will include landscaping, unlike some of the new islands installed along East El Monte that only have concrete.

In addition to improving the roadways, the city will also be working to connect sidewalks so they extend down the entire street. This work, while still in the design phase, is being funded by a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Active Transportation Project grant the city received.

Unfunded projects still high on the list of priorities include street improvements to El Monte from Hayes Avenue to Crawford, estimated to cost $870,000, Crawford from El Monte to Nebraska, estimated to cost $3.1 million, and Crawford from Kamm to El Monte, estimated to cost $2.4 million.

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