Tuolumne County has spent close to $900,000 in SB1 state tax dollars in the past 10 days putting rubberized chip seal on Jacksonville Road, Stent Cutoff and Algerine Road, a project to repair damages caused by Caltrans Highway 120 detour traffic during the $20 million 2016-17 Don Pedro bridge upgrade project.

Wet weather this week has delayed restriping of the 10-mile route, which is a popular shortcut between Jamestown and Moccasin. The unfinished project has already been delayed a year. A sign detailing the project, on Jacksonville Road at Kanaka Point Road, still says “Year of Completion 2018.”

Before noon Thursday, during a break in the current storms, the sun was out on Algerine, Stent Cutoff and Jacksonville. Signs advising “Do Not Pass” and “Loose Gravel” and “35 MPH” were still in place. Motorists ignored the recommended temporary speed limit signs and drove at freeway speeds.

Old striping was removed for the chip-sealing project, so right now the 10-mile route is all unmarked black asphalt with no white stripes and no yellow stripes. Small, flexible yellow pieces of plastic mark where the centerline is.

Tanya Allen, engineering manager for Tuolumne County’s community resources agency, said Wednesday the chip seal operation is complete. The contractor still has to stripe the road. The estimated total project cost is $970,410, including restriping.

The project timeline was always billed as weather-dependent. Because it rained Wednesday night and Thursday, Allen said, restriping workers will come back when the road surface is dry. That will most likely be next week or the week after if it continues to rain.

The county has not received a new date for the work, Allen said.

Earlier this year, the county Board of Supervisors and Community Resources Agency awarded Contract #1716, “Hwy 120 Detour Maintenance Project,” to American Pavement Systems, Inc. of Modesto to chip seal Jacksonville Road, Stent Cutoff, and Algerine Road. Work started May 7.

State tax SB1 funding for the project originates from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, also known as the "Gas Tax", and Senate Bill 1, passed by California legislators in April 2017. The goal is to raise $5.24 billion a year, totaling $52.4 billion over 10 years, to repair roads, improve traffic safety, and expand public transit systems across the state.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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