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Bridge to Lathrop’s future under way

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Bridge to Lathrop’s future under way

A boat passing under the bridge being built across the San Joaquin River to connect West Lathrop with River Islands at Lathrop.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED January 17, 2012 12:10 a.m.

LATHROP - The Bridge known as Bradshaw’s Crossing over the San Joaquin River will be completed later this year.

It won’t carry pedestrians or vehicles, though, until at least 2016.

That’s because Cambay Group is going ahead with major infrastructure - including a $25 million state-of-the-art school that is now under construction - ahead of housing development. It is allowing them to take advantage of a favorable construction market while at the same time preparing for housing demand when it returns.

The bridge is essentially a $17 million vote of confidence in the economic future of South San Joaquin County.

There won’t be a roadway connecting it on either side until housing starts in earnest nor will the dirt embankment be built up for the approach roads. It will in the interim look like a pair of giant canopies across the river. There will be a 10-foot drop-off at the bridge deck’s end until such time the approach roads are built.

Bradshaw Crossing is named in honor of Mike Bradshaw who helped figuratively build bridges between east and west Lathrop. River Islands Project Manager Susan Dell’Osso has noted that Bradshaw made it a point to make sure the new part of Lathrop west of Interstate 5 built ties with the older section on the east side. Bradshaw passed away several years ago.

River Islands is a project that is now 22 years in the making. It originally started out as Gold Rush City. It became known as River Islands in 2001 when Cambay bought all 4,800 acres.

Cambay’s approved River Islands project includes 11,000 homes and an employment center.

Cambay Group’s long-term commitment is almost legendary. Their San Ramon project known as Dougherty Valley with 10,000 homes on 5,000 acres took 17 years from the time of inception to the first home being built.

The past decade has seen the England-based firm invest more than $180 million to secure everything from sewer and water to the strongest river flood protection in California with the creation of 300-foot wide levees. They have even put in place the Lathrop Irrigation District that will provide power to future residents and businesses 25 percent below PG&E rates. What is stopping them is the market.

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