Council to seek grants for Yosemite street improvements

The City of Madera received a large grant from the State of California for a major project to help improve downtown Madera.


The plan is to decrease the amount of lanes on Yosemite Avenue to two lanes, incorporate two roundabouts and install diagonal parking with the goal of making Downtown Madera a more vibrant and multicultural hub as outlined in Vision Madera 2025 and the city’s general plan.


Caltrans has indicated a willingness to construct some of the recommendations from the Plan; however, are unable to fulfill all the recommendations due to insufficient funding.


Presented at the Aug. 17 City Council meeting, Caltrans is currently working on repaving SR 145 from Pecan Avenue to Tozer Street and beyond. With remaining funding, they plan to also restripe Yosemite Avenue. They will also incorporate street elements such as bulb-outs at intersections, Class II bike lanes, street lighting, high visibility crosswalks, and sidewalk where gaps exist.


Because of funding limitations, the city has considered two alternative methods to secure funding. One plan requires the City to obtain grant funding that would add directly to the Caltrans project to continue the design and subsequent construction of implements. The second option would require the City to obtain a grant for its own separate capital improvement project that would follow the completion of the Caltrans’ improvements and would extend outside the limits of the Caltrans project.


The city has reached out to the plan developer, Mark Thomas, for assistance with preparing grant applications with the goal of obtaining additional funding that would allow the construction of improvements beyond what Caltrans is currently able to carry out within the available funding.


Mark Thomas has proposed applying for a grant with the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant Program along with an analysis of funding opportunities. The fee for consulting services will be $98,600 for the base work items and for the preparation of a second grant application. Staff recommended Council adopt a Resolution approving consultation services agreement with Mark Thomas and Company.


The plan to use Thomas was approved by the council.


Also at the City Council meeting, a proposal to reach an agreement with Provost & Pritchard Consulting group to replace a water main under the Fresno River was presented.


On February 6, 2019, the Madera City Council approved an original contract with Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group, Inc. (Provost) for engineering design services for a water main replacement under the Fresno River. The original contract was for preliminary 30 percent design of an engineering concept to best solve the water main issues at this location. The design effort has been completed and staff recommends awarding a new agreement to Provost to complete the remaining work, including environmental reports, government permitting and final design work.


The scope of work consists of replacement of 200 feet of 16-inch water main under the Fresno River, between Gateway Drive to Riverside Drive. Due to scour conditions within the river, eight feet of soil cover has eroded, leaving the existing pipe at surface level and exposed to vandalism, possible water contamination and damage from the elements.


Given that Provost has completed a third of the initial design, staff recommends that they oversee and implement the completion of the project. The total amount for the contract agreement is $115,800, which would be allocated from the City’s Water Utility Fund and if approved, the agreement would extend the project completion date to July 15, 2024. If approved, these fees cover the design costs of the water line. Upon completion of this phase, the City would prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the construction. The council approved the project.


The next City Council meeting will be on September 21.