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Downtown Santa Fe Reopened
Santa Fe Street in downtown Riverbank was reopened to traffic between Second and Fourth streets late Friday afternoon and the general contractor, Sierra Nevada Construction, has switched redevelopment roadwork to Third Street, which is now closed between Topeka and Sierra streets.

Vehicles beside pedestrians can now get across Third at Santa Fe on a two-lane paved road and park as before in marked diagonal parking spaces in front of stores.

This is a temporary situation, Public Works Director David Melilli noted, and will be interrupted again when the work on Third Street reaches the Santa Fe intersection.

The intersection is currently a little narrower than before to avoid repeating work on pipes there but will eventually be returned to its full width.

The reopening exposes the new much wider sidewalks with a "meandering band" newly installed on Santa Fe Street and work has begun on the parking lot due to become a downtown park called Plaza Del Rio.

Pedestrians also have gained easier access to crosswalks on Third Street and do not have to walk around so far, now that the contractor has clearly designated the crosswalks with red plastic fencing.

Progress in reconstructing Third Street should go faster than on Santa Fe, Melilli said, because delaying factors like the plaza design, negotiations with Pacific Gas & Electric on the timing of street lamp installation and even rainy periods "are all behind us," he said.