Friday, August 11, 2006

Dixon Smooths Outlook to Finish Repaving Work

Dixon Smooths Outlook to Finish Repaving Work
By Melissa Murphy/Staff Writer

Diligent efforts to speed progress on a repaving project onHighway 113 in Dixon have paid off.
The Dixon City Council approved a plan this week that will allow Ghilotti Brothers Construction to finish the project by October rather than November.

Reconstruction of the road has been in the works by Caltrans for a few years. Currently, crews have been rebuilding a stretch of

Highway 113 through downtown Dixon by digging up small, one or two city-block-long sections of the the old road in order to provide a new roadway, according to City Engineer Royce Cunningham.

During early construction however, contractors discovered several utility conflicts, one of which was a Pacific Gas and Electric gas line that wasn't buried as deep as PG&E thought.

Work had to stop to move the line and bury it deeper, causing the project to be delayed at least a month, Cunningham said.

Under the new plan, the construction crews will be able to work on longer sections all at once, instead of just one- or two-block sections at a time. The move will accelerate the work and city and Caltrans officials say it will be complete by Oct. 6, instead of November, as previously thought.

"Let's hope it gets done as fast as they hope," said Angela Meisenheimer, executive director of the Downtown Dixon Business Association. "We're very appreciative and we owe many thanks to the officials and Supervisor Mike Regan."

After phone calls and letters were sent to county supervisors, Reagan knew something had to be done.

"That road has been beat to mush over the years by the traffic and it's been a significantly emotional process," he said.

Reagan said he made a few phone calls to people he knew and that Caltrans was eager to help.

Highway 113 runs north-south through downtown and the construction project that started in May gradually has had the effect of moving the center of downtown, preventing customers from accessing businesses.

Janet Koster, analyst in the city's engineering department, said the new plan significantly will shorten the schedule.

"People wanted us to speed up the construction," she said. "And this gets us to that goal."

A meeting scheduled for Monday will allow Caltrans, the contractor and the city to sit down and figure out how the businesses along 113 will have continuous access during construction.

Every effort will be made to minimize the impacts and accommodate access to the businesses fronting on the construction, Cunningham said in a staff report.

"The streetscape improvements to the historic downtown Dixon will reap benefits to the community for years to come," Reagan said in a thank you letter to Caltrans.

"And thanks to Caltrans' cooperation, the merchants will not have to risk closure today for tomorrow's dream."

Melissa Murphy can be reached at

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