Dinuba targets Sept. 7 for Kamm/Alta roundabout opening

City contractor pushes through delays to finish roundabout project at Kamm and Alta Avenue

Dinuba intersection of Kamm Ave and Alta Ave as seen from the southeast corner.
Serena Bettis
Published July 11, 2024  • 
11:00 am

DINUBA – After a months-long delay, the city of Dinuba has a projected opening date for the intersection at Kamm Avenue and Alta Avenue, an important thoroughfare for those traveling between Dinuba and Visalia. 

City Engineer Jason Watts reported to the Dinuba City Council July 9 that the intersection, which is being converted from a four-way traffic signal to a roundabout, should open Sept. 7. The intersection has been closed since the end of November 2023; it was tentatively scheduled to reopen in March, but supply chain issues — which also pushed back the opening of the new Dinuba High School — and other challenges related to utilities delayed it significantly. 

“As of right now, the utilities are done; we’ve passed PG&E inspection for almost everything that we’ve installed so far,” Watts said. “Part of that is working with the school district side of their PG&E stuff, so there’s a lot of moving parts. … All that being said, we worked with the contractor to open this roundabout.”

Watts said that once the roundabout opens on Sept. 7, there will still be landscaping and irrigation work on the corners that will need to be completed, as well as some concrete work on the sides, but anything that is left will be outside the flow of traffic.

Part of the construction project included grounding the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) lines that run through the intersection. Once the utilities pass final inspection, PG&E will switch over the power from the overhead lines to the grounded lines. Watts said this is slated for the beginning of August, and once it is finished, crews will be able to start paving the roundabout.

Watts said that according to PG&E, the power in that area serves 90% of Dinuba, “so that is the hottest line that comes to Dinuba right now.”

To get the project completed in this timeframe, Watts said the contractor is “going to crank it up a little bit.” Construction crews will work as much as they can, pushing 10-hour days and working on Saturdays to get everything done. Crews are getting ready to pour concrete for curb and gutter, and once that happens, things will start moving really quickly, Watts said. The foundation for the center monument wall will also start going up next week.

A temporary encroachment agreement with Alta Irrigation District (AID) approved by the city council June 25 also helped speed up construction significantly, Watts said. According to a staff report from the council meeting June 25, the contractor working on the roundabout experienced delays due to an encroachment issue between PG&E and AID. 

In order for an agency to install infrastructure or utilities across AID pipelines and ditches, AID requires they have an encroachment agreement with that agency; however, PG&E does not have an encroachment agreement with AID, which made it so the city’s contractor could not complete the conduit installation for various utilities. 

The two agencies have been working on an agreement, but it is still being finalized. In the meantime, the temporary agreement allowed the city to install a conduit across the AID right-of-way to avoid further delays on the project, the staff report said.

Watts commended the city’s contractor for their willingness to work with the city and push to get the roundabout complete.

“For these guys to open up and be able to work overtime and push as hard as they can for the city, I think shows a lot,” Watts said.

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter