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Renovation Set For Old Priest Grade Rd.

Sonora, CA — Starting in June Old Priest Grade Rd. (Hwy 120) will start taking on a new look.

According to Tuolumne County Director of Public Works Peter Rei the overdue renovation project will include widening and repaving the two lane roadway along with the installation of 2,600 feet of guardrail.

The renovation saga actually started in the 1990s with the deaths of several motorists. The county was subsequently sued and ended up paying a heavy price.

In 2002 the County secured a $900,000 Highway Safety Improvement Program grant that will pay 90 percent of the total cost. The County is responsible for the final 10 percent. Rei adds that it took approximately six years to complete all the environmental impact reports.

All the old guardrail will be removed and the new guardrail will cover every turn where there is potential danger.

Bids are scheduled to be accepted in May with the project to get underway in mid-June. Rei is hopeful the accepted bid will be below the $900,000 mark. Whatever the outcome it’ll be that 90/10 split between the Federal government and the County. 

Construction time should be in the neighborhood of two months. During that time period all traffic will be re-routed to New Priest Grade Rd.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com