Contrary to social media rumors and an electronic sign placed on East Lockeford Street, motorists will have access to the Grape Festival Grounds the second weekend in September.
Mark Armstrong, manager of the Lodi Grape Festival, said he has has several residents come in to the festival office asking if this year’s event will be cancelled due to the roadwork being done on East Lockeford Street.
Armstrong said he has also read several comments on private Facebook group pages stating East Lockeford Street from North Main Street to North Cherokee Lane will be closed during the festival.
He said the thoroughfare, which has been under construction since early May, will be open from Sept. 12 to 15, when the festival is scheduled.
“We have been kept abreast of all timelines and how the project is going,” he said. “George Reed is the contractor for the project and there is a clause in the contract that states Lockeford Street must be open for the festival. While the project may not be complete at that time, the road will be paved, sidewalks done and complete access to the fairgrounds and parking lots will be possible.”
Armstrong said he does not know where Lodians have heard the street won’t be open for the festival. However, he said there is an electronic sign along Lockeford Street displaying an Oct. 24 date for reopening the road.
The Lockeford Street Improvement Project involves installing about 170,000 square feet of pavement; 5,400 linear feet of concrete curb and gutter; 47,000 square feet of sidewalk; and 3,400 linear feet of water pipe.
In addition, crews are installing a new traffic signal, street and landscape improvements.
The $3.4 million project began in May and is scheduled to be complete by the end of October, city of Lodi project manager Gary Wiman said.
“We’re scheduled right now to pave the road the weekend of Labor Day,” he said. “We won’t have the striping in place by then, but it will be paved, people will be able to drive on it, and the Grape Festival can have its sigs and traffic directors out there as usual.”
Wiman added that traffic poles will be delivered to the project site in mid-October, pushing a final completion date to the end of that month.
During construction, special access and parking arrangements have been made for previous events, and Armstrong said that will also be provided for the Grape Festival.
He added that he will be posting updates on the Grape Festival Facebook page, and will have signs at Main Street and Cherokee Lane advertising the event.
“It is nice to see the progress that has been made and exciting to see curbs and sidewalks going in,” Armstrong said. “While there is a lot of work to do, we are looking forward to the finished product.”