Work is scheduled to start in early April on Taft's newest street project and this one is going to have a lasting effect on the flow of traffic.
It's the long-awaited Tenth Street repaving project, but there's going to be a lot more than a new asphalt surface and new striping.
The construction will also include a new four-way stop sign at Tenth and San Emidio, an intersection frequently used by pedestrians – especially children.
The intersection sits adjacent to a shopping center, baseball and softball fields and is one of the main crossings for students walking home schools to the Taft Heights area.
Mayor Paul Linder said the four-way stop is a safety issue that the high school and others have wanted for a long time. He is the former director of maintenance, operations and transportation for TUHS and said the school has been asking for a four-way stop for years.
Les Clark III is a former city councilman who served from 1998 to 2002 and he, too asked for the stop sign repeatedly.
He said it's long overdue, and is glad to see it getting done.
“I'm excited for the kids and for the community of Taft,” he said. “Every time I drove past the intersection I would think about it. I was always afraid we would have on put in the stop sign because a kid got killed there.”
The Taft City Council awarded a bid of nearly one-half million dollars to Griffith Construction Tuesday night for the project.
The work will include grinding the top 32 inches of the roadway surface from Ash Street to Kern, then replacing it with a new 3-inch layer of hot mix asphalt.
In addition to the four-way stop, crews will also retrofit ramps to meet ADA standards.
Construction is scheduled to start on April 2 and be completed on May 6.
During construction , traffic may be down to one lane in each direction.
Most of the money, $362,000, federal funding, but the city is going to come up with $128,000 in local matching funds.
That money was earmarked for the project several years ago and is not included in this year's budget.