These days have been quite pleasant for Riverbank resident Ed Jones, also known as ‘Fast Eddy,’ who has been watching the progress of the sidewalk construction project on Patterson Road/Highway 108 that he brought to the city council several years ago.
“This is a beautiful thing,” expressed Jones. “They are getting ready to pour the sidewalk.”
Approximately four years ago Jones decided to see what he could do about getting a sidewalk installed next to the mobile home park he lives in along the highway. He said since several residents have wheelchairs, scooters, or walk to get to the businesses located between Patterson and Oakdale roads, he felt compelled to do something to help make the route safer. Jones began sending letters to the city requesting a sidewalk next to the park but nothing resulted from this so he got in contact with Riverbank City Councilmember Cal Campbell and Mayor Richard O’Brien. Along with the assistance from Campbell and O’Brien, Jones’ relentless passion for safe travels from the mobile home park led to the approval of the sidewalk project.
In November 2014 Campbell approached a Caltrans representative at a meeting and discussed the unsafe path for the seniors in the mobile home park community. The representative advised Campbell to send him a letter explaining the situation and that he would get it to the appropriate department. Jones was then able to get 38 signatures out of 45 residents from the park on a petition to support the need for a new sidewalk at the mobile home park. Campbell composed the letter and sent the petition to Caltrans with the request for the sidewalk.
In February 2015 while Campbell was at City Hall, there was a representative from Congressman Jeff Denham’s office there that was meeting with residents to hear concerns and answer questions.
“I stopped to say hi and he told me he had just spoken with a citizen who lived in a mobile home park about a sidewalk they needed for safety,” added Campbell. “It was the same mobile home park I had written to Caltrans about. I told him (representative) about the letter I’d sent the month before.
“He asked me to send it to him so he could write a letter from Denham’s office supporting my letter.”
After Denham’s office took up the cause with Caltrans and discussions continued, they finally got the project approved and construction was set for October this year.
“The combined efforts of Denham’s office and myself finally resulted in the residents of the mobile home park getting a sidewalk that lets them travel safely to the business on Patterson Road,” stated Campbell of the effort initially proposed by Jones coming to fruition.
“I wanted the sidewalk so bad,” stated Jones. “I am so pleased it is pathetic.”
The project began last week on Wednesday, Oct. 5 and is scheduled for completion by Oct. 28 if the weather cooperates. The contractor for the project is Robert J Frank Construction and they will be installing approximately 175 feet of new sidewalk which will be located on the north side of State Route 108 (Patterson Road) starting at the corner of Cipponeri Road, extending east to the shopping mall driveway.
Although the sidewalk project took about four years to finally come to pass since the first request was made, the residents of the mobile home park along with Fast Eddy are ecstatic that it is finally getting put in.