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Bike path to grow with $794,243 worth of construction
City Council awards two contracts to extend bike path from Hatch Road to Whitmore Avenue
The bike path on Hatch Road will be extended southbound east of the Ceres Main Canal all the way to Whitmore Avenue with two new contracts approved by the Ceres City Council. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Two contracts were awarded last week that will extend the Hatch Road bicycle bath to Whitmore Avenue and spend nearly $800,000 in grant funds.

Ross F. Carroll, Inc., was given a $369,627 contract to build a bike path along the east side of TID Main Canal between Hatch Road and Fowler Road near Ceres Fire Station #4. The contract calls for paving, striping, fencing and some landscaping.

The firm was also awarded a second contract - not to exceed $424,616 - to continue the bike path along the same canal southward to Whitmore Avenue.

The completion of the bike path means that bicyclists and pedestrian may travel all the way from Whitmore Avenue east of Mitchell Road all the way to Richland Avenue at Hatch Road without the fear of conflicting with cars and trucks.

The majority of the funding comes from a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) grant intended to promote non-motorized forms of transportation and reduce air pollution. The rest comes from Public Facility Fees paid by developers who have passed those costs onto people who buy their houses.

The city has spent over $1.5 million to build the Hatch Road bike path thus far. The last stretch to be installed linked the north side of Hatch Road between Central Avenue and Richland Avenue.

Deputy City Manager/City Engineer Toby Wells said the city intends to take the bike path as far south as Rhode Road. The goal is to run the bike path eastward toward Hughson as far as the city limits at Faith Home Road. Wells said there is a countywide bike plan that calls for a bike path all the way to Hughson but there are no county funds to build it.

Wells said he's heard mostly positive feedback over the bike path but said there have been some issues with maintenance.