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Transit station: Downtown icon?

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POSTED May 1, 2012 2:18 a.m.

Manteca’s first municipal building in the downtown district since closure of the two-story brick city hall on Sycamore Avenue in the 1970s is more than just a basic transit station.

City leaders hope it becomes a gathering spot, a focal point, and a downtown icon.

The transit station includes:

•a large community room that can be divided in two for use for dinners, receptions, and other events complete with a kitchen facility.

• an expansive outdoor plaza designed to accommodate events such as an outdoors farmers market.

• a large clock tower visible in all directions.

Architect Eric Wohle of LDA Partners describe the station’s design with its extensive use of brick, varied elevations of cast stone, window arches, and a steel canopy entrance for the plaza as embracing a “grand central” theme. The design is carried on inside  throughout the lobby and the community rooms with a high ceiling complete with arch trusses in the lobby to provide the building with the appearance of looking taller than it really is.

The design is about more than just pleasing the eye.

•The higher pitched ceiling in the community room has been designed with  dropped “clouds” consisting of acoustical panels to soften noise.

•The materials used - such as wainscoting on the walls in the lobby and the community room - are designed to reduce maintenance costs.

•The design has been modified so if one person is on staff in the building at the ticket window that they have a clear visual line to the community room entrances.

The restrooms accessible to the public and the community room address a common complaint women have - not enough toilets. The women’s bathroom has eight toilets while the men’s side has two toilets and a pair of urinals.

The Tidewater Bikeway will be straightened out and will run almost two South Main Street where it will turn to the north and parallel the sidewalk until it reaches the intersection cross on South Main at Moffat. The bike path alignment will go in first and will remain open during the construction.

There are 108 parking spaces on the 3.1-acre site, bus drop off zones with shelters and safety fence to keep passengers away from Moffat traffic.  A vehicle drop-off zone would be in place on Moffat as well as on site complete with a turn-around. Dedicated left turns would be added to Moffat for entering the transit station parking lot. A pedestrian crosswalk would also be added on Moffat.

The project will also include putting in place a fiber optic line between the Civic Center and the transit station. It will be the backbone of a city system to provide security cameras at selected bus stops as well as parks throughout Manteca.

Funding for the project is from county, state, and federal sources that are restricted to transit-related projects. It includes $2.6 million from the federal Transit Administration, $1.8 million from Proposition 1B, $1.5 million from the Regional Surface Transportation Program, $256,000 from the Local Transportation Fund, and $700,000 from Measure K countywide transit sales tax receipts.

No general fund money is being used to build the facility. In addition, state and federal pass-through funds for  transit use will be employed to maintain and operate the station.

Construction will take 300 calendar days once the final design is completed. The targeted completion date is April 4, 2013. That means a dedication ceremony could take place during the 17th annual Crossroads Street Fair.

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