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Bike path growing
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A steamroller smooths a new bike path west of Moore Road. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Work has started on a new leg of the existing bike path in Ceres.

Last year the city awarded two contracts 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. Through a second contract not to exceed $424,616, the same firm will build the bike path along the same canal southward to Whitmore Avenue.

Once complete, the bike path will allow bicyclists and pedestrian to 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 was installed along the north side of Hatch Road between Central Avenue and Richland Avenue. The bike path then runs south of Hatch Road east of Central 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 identified to build it.