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Highway Projects Impact City Traffic
Caltrans employees Bradley Bueller, left, and Lorraine Teczon work to begin plotting distances and locations for proposed changes to the handicapped cutouts in the intersection sidewalks between First and Fourth streets along Highway 108/Atchison Street in Riverbank. They triangulated positions and angles from a benchmark located in front of the Sno-white Drive In near the corner of Fifth Street. Ric McGinnis/The News


Two projects on Highway 108, both proceeding at the same time, slowed traffic briefly through parts of Riverbank during the past week.

A Caltrans survey crew was at work on the stretch of the highway that is also Atchison Street in the downtown area.

At the same time, a paving crew was putting the finishing touches on a widening project on the Patterson Road part of 108, between Estelle Avenue and Oakdale Road, on the northern side of the westbound lanes.

That work required traffic going west to squeeze down to one lane, sometimes being held up by the movement of the paving spreader and roller equipment.

The irony was in the fact that part of the highway had just been widened to two lanes in the westbound direction. Previously, it was cut off where traffic turned out of Estelle traveling north, past Prime Shine car wash, going in front of the fitness center and River Oak Veterinary Hospital.

Those businesses faced steep driveways up to highway level, with resulting safety issues with cars coming out of their parking lots. That has now been remedied with improved sidewalks, including handicapped access to the businesses, safety cables along those sidewalks, longer ramps down to store level and reconfigured parking lots.

Meanwhile, on the downtown section of the highway, on what is Atchison Street, a Caltrans survey crew was at work last week measuring for a redesign of the handicapped sidewalk cutouts at the intersections of First through Fourth streets, beginning at a benchmark at the edge of the road in front of Sno-white Drive In, near Fifth Street and Cardozo Middle School’s playground.

The three-person crew was expecting to take most of last week to complete their work, but didn’t expect to impact traffic, since their work was being done on the sidewalks.

Crew chief Bradley Bueller said their benchmark data indicated that its elevation is 143.22 feet above sea level.