When motorists enter Galt off Highway 99, officials want visitors to know what makes the city special.
One of the ways to make this happen is installing landscaped roundabouts at the northern entrance along Twin Cities Road, and the city council on Tuesday gave direction to move forward with the proposal.
The raised medians could include steel sculptures of herons in marshes or a family bird-watching on each side of the highway overpass.
"One thing we have always lacked is a gateway," he said. "This is going to set the mark for what happens in the future with developers and others coming into the city," City Manager Jason Behrmann said.
The main function of a roundabout is to improve traffic, according to Caltrans.
"We're trying to do something beautiful, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there's going to be people out there who don't like it," Interim Public Works Director Richard Prima said.
The estimated cost for two roundabouts is $221,000, with a portion of the funding coming from Caltrans and the rest from traffic fees, according to Behrmann.
Prima said the city is concerned about the expense and could cut the budget slightly by omitting the uplighting aspect. Funding would need to be approved in the 2012-13 budget cycle.
Mayor Barbara Payne said she loves the landscaped roundabout idea, but is worried about theft. Councilman Mike Singleton voiced concerns about rocks being light enough to hoist over Highway 99.
The project is currently under design, and construction could begin next spring. It requires not only council approval, but Caltrans' as well, since it is in the right of way.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.