View Mobile Site

Uncle, can you spare $22M?

Manteca cobbles together wish list for DC lobbying trip

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED December 21, 2012 12:47 a.m.

All Manteca wants for Christmas is $22 million or so from Uncle Sam to help build two interchanges.

The City Council Tuesday put together their wish list for the annual San Joaquin One Voice 2013 lobbying trip next spring to Washington, D.C.

The list is short - and expensive.

• Funds for improvements to the existing Austin Road and Highway 99 interchange to accommodate job development in the Austin Road Business Park and Yosemite Square Business Park. The work will cost several million dollars.

• Money toward roughly $20 million for final design and construction of an interchange at McKinley Avenue and the 120 Bypass. The interchange would help open nearly 100 acres of city-owned land to development including the 30-acre site for the proposed Great Wolf Resort.

This is the 14th year for face-to-face meetings with key federal bureaucrats as well as elected leaders in a bid to secure funds for Manteca and other San Joaquin County jurisdictions.

Manteca leaders during the past decade have scored $1.9 million as the result of joining the annual San Joaquin One Voice lobbying effort in Washington, D.C. The vast majority of it went to Give Every Child a Chance that scored an initial $1 million grant to run the after school programs and subsequent follow up grants of $300,000 a year.

The city itself managed to  secure $250,000 that went to the initial design work on McKinley Avenue as the result of those trips. Countywide, the trips have helped land almost $60 million.

By contrast, federal grant applications for “shovel ready” projects filed by city department heads well versed in the art of grant writing helped snag $9.3 million in federal stimulus funds for Manteca since 2008. That is in addition to the biggest earmark ever for Manteca - $6 million for the Yosemite Avenue interchange  on Highway 99  secured by former Congressman Richard Pombo in the late 1990s. Staff also was successful in applying for $2.3 million for more work on the McKinley  interchange on 2006.

It is clear that the city will need some source of outside money - state or federal - to augment growth fees to build the two interchanges. The replacement Austin Road project will cost upwards of $150 million due to the need to relocate the freeway as well as clear railroad tracks while McKinley work will cost in excess of $20 million.

The funds being requested for Highway 99, though, are to upgrade the current interchange. The project will include ramp modifications, traffic signals and other modifications to improve access to the two approved employment centers.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...