Generally, the City of Farmersville would not take on two large projects at the same time. But, with the funding in place, the city did not want to lose it for either one, said City Manager John Jansons.
Hence, motorists traveling either, east and west on Visalia Road, or north and south on Farmersville Blvd. will see a lot of action taking place.
The Visalia Road project is part of a Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) project for widening the road from Highway 99 in Visalia through to Highway 65 in Exeter. Funding comes through Measure R funds, a 2006 county-wide, half-cent sales tax initiative approved by voters, with the expense for the Farmersville portion of $5,617,790. This will widen Visalia Road to four lanes through Farmersville, provide some center medians with landscaping, and add 46 street light fixtures, on the road through town, Jansons said.
While the project actually started in December, work has been slow due to the abundance of rain. However, the electrical power lines have been moved to accommodate for street widening. Telephone and cable lines are also currently being moved and pre-paving widening has begun.
A leaky underground irrigation pipe was replaced on a People’s Ditch Company line that runs under the city, while more easily accessible, Jansen said.
Currently, along Farmersville Blvd., additional curb gutters and sidewalks, where missing, are being filled in with standards to meet the Americans with Disability Act compliancy being met. Northbound and southbound bike lanes from Roy Park to Visalia Road will be added. The cost estimate is close to $9 million, also paid through Measure R funds.
Also south of Visalia Road on Farmersville Blvd., a bus turnaround spot is being developed. A sheltered Visalia Transit bus stop with bench, is planned near senior-living and other apartment complexes for citizen accessibility, and a turnaround is necessary for the transit service to bring buses back around to Visalia Road connecting the route to Porterville or Visalia. The cost of this is estimated at $706,461 with $425,461 being paid for through Measure R funding. The balance will be paid through the CalTrans Active Transport Program and the city.
The city plans “to keep disruption to a minimum,” Jansons said. Plans are to work on one area