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Citys plate piled with Capital Improvement Projects
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Extensive improvements to Sam Ryno Park are on their way as part of an ambitious Capital Improvement Project list being worked on by the city of Ceres. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/The Courier

CIP is short for Capital Improvement Projects.
But the city is not short of CIPs, mostly which will improve the sewer and water systems.

City Manager Toby Wells gave an update of the projects at Monday's City Council meeting.

Nearing completion is a project to reconstruct and upgrade six sewer and storm drainage lift stations.

Work will start in January on the Service Road sewer line between Moffett and Mitchell roads. The $1.9 million contract was awarded to Mozingo Construction in September. The line is intended to give relief to the heavily burdened sewer line in Don Pedro Road. It is part of a sewer master plan adopted by the city to reduce the chances for a sewer overflow.

Also soon to start is work on the Mitchell Road Sewer Trunk awarded to Preston Pipelines last month at a cost of $1.29 million. The project involves the installation of 1,250 linear feet of 30-inch sewer main, 3,630 linear feet of 24-inch sewer main and completing the Barbour's lift station. The work includes "abandoning" the sewer access that currently exists in the slow lane of southbound Mitchell Road next to Cruisers convenience store.

The city started the moving process two years ago "and now we're completing the moving process," said Wells. "Our maintenance staff will now be able to maintain this lift station from the safety of being outside of the travel lanes rather than have to shut down the entire roadway."

It appears the city will proceed with a new well on the Clinton Whitmore Mansion property where a test well showed promising water quality. The city is awaiting the results of water samples taken from a test well drilled at Riverview Park in northeast Ceres.

The city is also in the process of making improvements to the Sam Ryno Park in southwest Ceres. The city received a $250,000 Land Water Conservation grant to cover the project. Construction is underway by Rolfe Construction to add concrete curb, concrete picnic tables, bike racks, benches, drinking fountain, barbecue fixtures, play structures, a kids cabin, swings, pavilion, concrete seat walls, sod, shrubs, trees, irrigation system, fencing and security lighting.

Construction continues to take place to synchronize the traffic signals and should be completed in early 2015. The $549,029 contract to install new fiber optic cable will help the city connect more traffic signals in Ceres to its system of signal light synchronization. Smoother traffic flows are the expected result.

Pacific Excavation installed new fiber optic cable and repaired sections of the fiber optic network and upgrade the city's Traffic Signal Center. The firm also is adding four new closed circuit TV cameras at two new signal locations so city hall can monitor and troubleshoot problems.

"The interconnection of the traffic signals will increase the level of service for the various signalized intersections in the city of Ceres, facilitating smoother traffic flows," said Wells.

In 2012, the city worked on a traffic signal synchronization project that focused on the Hatch and Mitchell roads corridor and Whitmore Avenue. The work was primarily between Highway 99 and Mitchell Road. The new project extends the work to connect the signals on both Hatch Road and Whitmore Avenue east of Mitchell Road to include signals out to Eastgate Boulevard "so they're synchronized and connect them so we can control those signals from our traffic operation center here at City Hall."

The project connects the two signals at both ends of Eastgate Boulevard to controls at City Hall.

Nine new projects are in the design phase for the 2015 calendar:

• Adding a full-size soccer field and more parking to Ceres River Bluff Regional Park. Bids open in January;

• Adding a 16-inch water main at a cost of nearly $3 million designed to balance water pressure throughout Ceres, especially in the area north of Hatch Road.

• Full improvements to Whitmore Avenue between Morgan and Blaker roads as well as placing traffic signals at the widened intersection of Whitmore and Morgan;

• The summer overlay of Mitchell Road between Whitmore Avenue and Roeding Road;

• Extending the 10- to 12-foot-wide asphalt bike/pedestrian path along the TID canal east of Mitchell Road all the way to Whitmore Avenue.

• Adding 2,000 square foot of space to the city's sewer plant control building on Morgan Road;

• Filling in missing sidewalks and adding 70 handicap access ramps in the Morrow Tract, or the area generally bounded by Whitmore Avenue to the north, Ninth Street to the west, Roeding Road to the south and El Dorado Drive to the east;

• Replacing City Hall's old generator with a bigger one;

• Adding new restrooms at Whitmore Park with improvements to accommodate disabled persons.