Tracy is asking contractors to submit bids to replace playground equipment in at least three parks this year, and possibly more if the city has money left over in its budget.

The city plans to use $700,000 to tear out old playgrounds at El Pescadero, Stevens and Thoming parks, all of which are at least 15 years old, and build new ones, said Khoder Bayoun, an engineer who works for Tracy.

Money will come from the city’s $53 million general fund as well as money it gets from its landscape maintenance districts.

Making the playground equipment easier to get to for disabled people was a big reason behind the plan to rebuild the equipment, Bayoun said. And the life of playground equipment is about 15 years, he added.

But the city will make the new playgrounds safer for kids as well.

Whichever company wins the bid will be asked to rip out the playground now and build new ones from scratch. It will put in new playground equipment, build ramps and do other work to make the playgrounds, some of which are raised off the ground, accessible to everyone.

Bayoun said the city will put more space between equipment to lessen the chances that a child will fall onto a hard surface.

“There is no handicap access into the play areas,” Bayoun said. “We have playground equipment that is outdated.”

Bidding for the contract opens June 30, and it will take city officials about two months to sort them out and have the City Council award a contract. The winning bidder has three months to finish all the work.

If bids come in low enough, playground equipment would also be replaced at Slayter Park, and if money is leftover from that, the city will move on to Robert Kellogg Park.

In the long run, Tracy wants to replace the playground equipment at 12 parks, Bayoun said.

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