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Traffic signal lights are now operating at McHenry & River roads near Escalon
traffic calming pic
Residents who are concerned about speeding in their neighborhoods, like those who live on Paseo Entrada near Pitman High, and want a speed bump installed, now have a process they can follow to get City approval for the traffic calming measure. - photo by Journal file photo

ESCALON —San Joaquin County reports traffic is flowing like clockwork with the completion Friday of brand new signal lights at McHenry and River Roads on the approach to the newly constructed McHenry Avenue Bridge.

Commuters who use this this bridge that connects San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties had protested loudly over “anticipated” long delays due to the work. San Joaquin County Department of Public Works crews announced they would replace the 4-way stop at the north end of the bridge with a temporary roundabout which many affectionately called a “bean-a-bout”.  

As envisioned by Public Works staff, traffic ran smoothly during the first phase of construction. Recognizing its benefits, Public Works and the construction contractor worked together to morph the roundabout into all kinds of shapes and sizes to accommodate the various phases of construction over the past two-and-a-half years, which eliminated stop and go traffic during heavy commuter times.

“We understand the frustration drivers experience whenever anything delays their schedules or hinders daily routines,” said Supervisor Chuck Winn. “This project provided creative ways to address traffic concerns and ensure that all the right people came together to work out any issues well before construction began. Everyone involved in this effort should be recognized and commended for their innovative solutions to minimize delays for all motorists using McHenry.”

The project improvements, including two bridges and the intersection signal, were built at a cost of $24 million in local, state and federal funds and accommodates anticipated increased traffic, with room for cyclists as well.