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Needed street repair work exceeds funding by 50%

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Springtime Estates streets have no road base.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED April 17, 2017 12:26 a.m.

Manteca has a crack epidemic.

And nowhere is it more prevalent than on the streets of Springtime Estates.

Manteca needs to repave streets in the Springtime Estates neighborhood in the triangle formed by Louise Avenue Highway 99 and Main Street. The streets are riddled with endless cracks sprouting grass.  The deterioration is made worse by the fact the streets got accepted by the city in the 1980s without an essential road base put in place. As such, the streets are beyond fixing.

They also need to slurry seal 33  lanes miles in the area generally bounded by Airport Way on the west, Union Road on the east, Louise Avenue on the north, and Crom Street on the south as swell as the Sherwood Forest Subdivision, Units No. 1 and No. 2, north and northeast of East Union High and Neil Hafley School.

There’s one problem: Money.

The lowest bids for the two projects have come in at $3.1 million. George Reed was the low bid at $1,506,807 for the Springtime Estates work while American Pavement Systems came in as the low bid at $1,585,071 for the slurry work. Manteca has only $1.985 million set aside for neighborhood street maintenance.

The Public Works staff identified other alternatives for both projects after the bids were received. Public Works Director Mark Houghton, in a memo to the council, said the alternatives “are expected to provide greater improvements for less cost.”

It is why staff is asking the City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. to reject all bids and re-bid the two projects. The council meets at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The city has $750,000 in Measure K tax receipts for road maintenance and $650,000 from the state’s Local Transportation Fund to do the work plus $585,000 that wasn’t spent last year. That comes to $1.985 million.

Should the rebid not shave $1.1 million of both projects to match the money available, staff has indicated one option is to tap into future years of street maintenance work involving Measure K and Local Transportation Fund taxes so both projects could be completed.

Springtime Estates was originally scheduled to be slurry sealed last year. That was before staff during a check discovered streets in Springtime Estates had been put in place over 30 years ago with no base. That makes trying to slurry seal the streets a futile gesture that would simply waste money.

The bids for Springtime Estates that have been received include two options. One calls for the existing street pavement to be ground up in place and used as the base or rip everything out, haul it out, and bring in new base material prior to paving the streets.

Manteca needs to spend a minimum of $5.5 million annually over the next five to seven years to prevent much of its 200 plus miles of streets from getting to the point they will need expensive replacement work such as at Springtime Estates. That’s based on a pavement analysis.

The city is only able to fund street maintenance projects to the tune of $1.5 million annually after available gas tax funding is used to cover the cost of the streets maintenance crew and day-to-day costs to keep streets safe and street lights on among other things.  The street crew was cut in half a decade ago due to a drop in revenue as the Great Recession hit.

Manteca could start receiving $1.5 million more or $3 million annually in gas tax for street maintenance projects in 2019.

That’s because the extra 12 cents a gallon that California motorists will start paying Nov. 1 could mean an additional $1.5 million a year for Manteca to repair streets.

That projection is based on a League of California Cities analysis of the original gas tax package that called for a 20 cent a gallon gas hike which would have given Manteca $2.5 million based on established state formulas. Gov. Jerry Brown brokered a deal he signed into law that was based on a gas tax of 12 cents a gallon — 60 percent of the original proposal.

Manteca currently receives $1.6 million a year as its share of California gas tax for road maintenance. That is augmented with $1.1 million from Measure K, the countywide half cent transportation sales tax.

If the revenue projections hold, Manteca in a year or so would see its state gas tax receipts nearly doubled to $3.1 million. Assuming Measure K receipts hold up, the city would then have $4.2 million a year for road maintenance.

That will help the city somewhat in dealing with its backlog of streets with crumbling pavement and potholes.

The approved state deal also creates a new annual DMV vehicle fee starting in 2018 ranging from $25 for cars valued at under $5,000 to $175 for cars worth $60,000 or more. In addition all electric cars will pay $100 a year. The fees will be paid when your DMV registration is due.

The money, more than $52 billion over the next 10 years, will pay for repairs to state highways and local streets, along with improvements to bridges, public transit, and biking and walking trails.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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