Modesto mulls extending Virginia Corridor north

Virginia Corridor
The Virginia Corridor during construction, which ran from Bowen north to Woodrow Avenue.

The Modesto City Council will consider accepting $3.2 million in state funding to build the seventh phase of the Virginia Corridor Trail over Standiford Avenue. The project, expected to be completed by 2021, would cost a total of $4.5 million and include $1.3 million in funding from other state and federal sources.

The 0.75-mile trail would run from Woodrow Avenue, where the corridor currently ends, to the little-used paved Hetch Hetchy Trail near Semillion Drive, according to an article in the Modesto Bee.

At one time, the city planned for the paved Virginia Corridor Trail to go from Modesto Junior College north to Bangs Avenue. No mention has been made of extending the corridor across the Modesto Irrigation District canal from the proposed Semillion endpoint.

The city recently completed paving a 0.2-mile stretch from College Avenue behind some buildings and ending on Campus Way. The cost of that project was about $475,000 for paving, trees and lighting.

Phase 7 would include asphalt paving, trees, lighting, irrigation and either an underpass under or a bridge over Standiford Avenue.

The city’s Safety and Communities Committee has recommended the City Council accept the $3.2 million funding from California’s Urban Grant Program.

If the city goes along with the recommendation, construction could start as early as 2020. The previous phase, from Bowen to Woodrow, ran into problems during construction three years ago. Finger pointing between both the city and its contractors delayed project completion.

In an article in the Modesto Bee, interim City Manager Joe Lopez said the city has learned from that and won’t make the same mistakes.

The railroad tracks that originally occupied the corridor were removed in June 2003, and ground was broken on the first phase of the paved trail in May 2005. The Centennial Junction phase near O’Brien’s Market on Roseburg Square was opened to the public in January 2007.