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Main St. crossing closing for 4 days

Part of railroad work taking place thru April 11

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Main St. crossing closing for 4 days

The finishing touches are put in place Friday before the Industrial Park Drive crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks was reopened to traffic.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED February 18, 2013 1:22 a.m.

Upwards of 17,000 vehicles cross the Main Street railroad crossing in downtown Manteca on a typical day.

That number will drop to zero for the next four days starting Tuesday as crossing work will force drivers to change their routes.

It is all part of a Union Pacific maintenance effort to improve its 10 railroad crossings in Manteca to reduce jarring to vehicles, tripping hazards for pedestrians and enhance train safety.

Barbara Ubaldi doesn’t have a problem per se with this week’s closure of the Main Street crossing.

After all, she’s pretty used to it – having been forced to find a workaround for the busy intersection not too long ago. The road – being shut down between Moffat Boulevard and Oak Street – was shut at least once in the last 18 months, and will once again present motorists with a unique, four-day challenge.

The crossing will be closed from Tuesday through Friday.

“Didn’t we just do this?” Ubaldi asked. “I don’t mind the railroad doing what they have to do. We’ve had crossings around here that were neglected and we don’t want that again.

“We’re talking about right in the middle of town. It can’t be done at night like the others?”

Unfortunately the work requires removal of pavement, the concrete sections between the rails and then replacing them. The process does not allow for temporary reopening.

The closure won’t just affect regular motorists.

The notice that was posted on Feb. 13 specifically spells out how police, fire and ambulances will have to find another way around the closure to get to calls. It won’t be that much of an inconvenience for drivers that have already learned where to drive and how to avoid certain intersections, but the impact, and what it could mean, left Jimmy Martin wondering.

“If they’re on the other side of the closure and they get a call, going all the way around takes time and that’s something they don’t have a lot of,” Martin said. “These people are dealing in lives, and the least we can do is making things easier, not harder, for them.”

Making the short trek one large block in either direction, however, is something that Danny Morello says isn’t too much to ask when projects like these come around.

It wasn’t all that long ago, Morello said, that driving across certain Manteca traffic crossings left your car needing a new realignment.

While it’s an inconvenience – something that residents are quite used to with Union Pacific tracks running through town – it’s not something that Morello says is too much to ask.

“Leaving five minutes earlier solves all of the problems,” he said. “I don’t see what the big issue is with this. It’s going to make our lives easier – even if it makes things a little bit tougher from the start.”

Work has already been completed at the crossing at Industrial Park Drive and Woodward Avenue.

The remaining dates and locations of crossing closures are:

• Yosemite Avenue Feb. 25-28

• Center Street March 4-7

• Walnut Avenue March 11-14

• Union Road March 18-21

• Louise Avenue March 25-27

• Airport Way April 1-5

• Austin Road April 8-11

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