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Uncle, can you spare $30M?

Manteca seeks federal funds for interchanges

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Uncle, can you spare $30M?

This is a rendering of a diverging diamond interchange similar to what the city is pursuing at Union Road and the 120 Bypass.

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POSTED October 16, 2017 1:48 a.m.

Manteca wants to break ground on two freeway interchange projects along the 120 Bypass in the next two years.

They are in the process of doing the engineering for interchange improvements at both Union Road and creating an interchange at McKinley Avenue where they have been buying up property. The city is expected to approve a $790,000 settlement this week for a 2.41-acre parcel for the McKinley interchange

 The city already has $31.2 million set aside for both projects leaving them with a funding gap of just over $30 million.

The city is hoping all or some of the needed funding will come from the Trump Administration’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America. There is $1.5 billion available in discretionary grant funding that addresses critical issues involving the nation’s highways and bridges that is being administrated by the federal Department of Transportation.

The City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center is being asked to approve a resolution  allowing staff to officially seek federal funding for the two interchanges.

The capital improvement plan adopted by the council as part of the current budget in June noted the Union Road project would cost $21million and has $10 million in funds already set aside. The McKinley project will cost $41.2 million and has $21.2 million set aside.

City Manager Tim Ogden noted the decision by the council earlier this month to have only one zone for growth fee charges means there is more flexibility with fees collected on new homes as well as new commercial and business parks that could be applied to the two projects. Before, money collected in one of six specific zones had to be spent on projects that were specifically identified for that zone.

Funds that have been put aside for the two interchange projects are from a combination of a Federal DEMO grant, Regional Transportation Impact Fees (RTIF) collected throughout the county, State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Funds, the Public Facilities Improvement Plan (PFIP) road fees that the council just updated, and former Manteca Redevelopment Agency bond proceeds.

Ogden said there is no urgency for McKinley to go ahead of Union in order to land a waterpark resort operator. That’s because  the city’s site that is being marketed west of Costco has a shovel ready project based on  an environmental clearance for a 500-room resort hotel with a 75,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, a 15,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark, 37,500 square feet of restaurant space, and a 30,000-square-foot conference center. That project can be built under the approved EIR without the McKinley interchange in place. A larger project or future expansions would require the interchange to be built based on stipulations made by Caltrans.

The last time the city was able to secure federal funds to actually construct a road project was prior to 2010 by accessing President Obama’s American Recovery Act.

The money that flowed to Manteca as part of President Obama’s American Recovery Act included:

u$900,000  that went toward the $2.9 million project to build the four-lane gap missing on Atherton Drive between South Main Street and a point west of Wellington Avenue.

u$957,000 that paid for the rehabilitation of portions of nine streets.

u$1.4 million that hired four additional police officers for three years.

u$1.3 million in transit funds including $380,000 that paid for environmental studies for the transit station at Moffat at Main, $100,000 for an additional fixed route bus, $130,000 for the lease of the new Manteca Transit facility, and $40,000 for marketing, branding and signage.

That came to $83.58 for every one of Manteca’s 67,000 residents at the time. 

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com


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