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Council Declares Emergency Situation
Road Work Fire Station
A George Reed road crew works to rebuild Topeka Street last week, right in front of the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire District Station 26. Crews worked to finish the section of the street, between Third and Fourth streets, right in front of the fire hall. Note that Engine 26 is parked in the driveway to the right, standing by so it is available in case of an emergency call. Ric McGinnis/The News

Members of the Riverbank City Council had an emergency situation arise that needed immediate action at a special meeting last week. With new developments from the work being done on Topeka Street, it caused concern for the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District’s access to the roadway from the fire station. Council members voted unanimously for the appropriation of additional funds to the Topeka Street Improvement Project between Third and Fifth streets.

“The reason why it was an emergency issue is that the fire station is right there and they can’t have a situation where we are having to wait another week or two or three weeks to get the project done on schedule because they need to use that road to get in and out of the fire station to go on calls,” stated City Manager Sean Scully. “If it was another area of town where we could block it off so no one could use it then we could wait a few more days to have it looked at. We have an emergency response requirement there that we need to make sure that we get it done right away.”

During the construction when the pavement was removed they found that there was moisture that caused the soil to be unstable. Engineers and contractors recognized the problem with the soil compaction under the roadway. This caused the road to become compromised, bumpy and unsafe to travel on.

“We have been working with the fire department on this all along,” added Scully. “So they have been very accommodating and helpful. If you ever drove down that road before you would have noted that it was very bumpy way more than a normal road should be and now we know the reason why because that soil underneath is compromised and was causing that issue.”

This new situation is going to cost the city approximately $125,000 to fix. They will remove some of the soil and then mix it with a cement treated base to make the road more firm and compact. This was not in the original contract as they did not know the ground was in that type of condition. They will amend the contract to get the road fixed properly.

By a majority vote the council had to first acknowledge that the emergency situation existed, which they did. Due to the new findings the work on Topeka was halted to reassess the situation and find a solution for public safety.

Scully said, “At the end of the day the people will have a normal road that will hopefully be smooth and easy to use.”

The City Council contracted with George Reed, Inc. to complete the construction of Topeka Street Improvement Project in July. They have added ADA curb ramps and removed the existing pavement. They have laid gravel down so the fire engines can come and go safely.