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Long haul: More truck traffic

Distribution center growth means more trucks

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Long haul: More truck traffic

Highway 99 traffic north of Lathrop Road is shown prior to the start of the freeway widening project.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED September 3, 2013 1:27 a.m.

There are eight trucks a minute passing any given point on the Highway 99 corridor through Manteca.

Trucks account for as much as 20 percent of the 99 traffic between Ripon and Manteca according to Caltrans.

The truck traffic is expected to increase significantly as Manteca positions itself along with Lathrop, Stockton, and French Camp as the major distribution center for what is referred to as the Northern California Megaregion. The area has 14.5 million consumers from the Bay Area to Reno and from Chico south to a point just north of Bakersfield.

Manteca alone between CenterPoint and the Austin Road Business Park is pushing to create opportunities for 11.1 million square feet of new distribution center capacity. That is the equivalent of 21 distribution centers the size of Ford’s 550,000-square-foot small parts distribution facility on Spreckels Avenue.

Distribution centers aren’t the only source of future truck movements expected to impact Highway 99, Interstate 5 and the 120 Bypass in the Manteca-Lathrop area.

Work on expanding the Union Pacific intermodal facility designed for movement of truck trailers to rail and vice versa that’s sandwiched between Manteca and Lathrop will bring the average daily truck trips from that facility from 954 today to 2,186 at complete build-out. It would mean the average number of trucks per hour leaving or departing the intermodal facility via Roth Road would go from 39.75 every hour to 91. Weekend traffic is 5 to 10 percent of work day traffic.

The additional activity at the UP Intermodal facility also will impact rail crossings in Manteca as more trains will be moving in and out of the area.

The truck traffic from the UP facility is in addition to the Santa Fe Intermodal Facility northeast of Manteca that sends truck traffic to the Highway 99 corridor via Arch Road.

And while truck traffic on Highway 99 appears heavy, it is nothing compared to the Interstate 5 corridor where between 25,000 and 30,000 trucks a day — or an average of 17 per minute passing any given point — move along the Interstate 5 corridor between Lathrop and Stockton.

But even that is miniscule compared to the short stretch of I-5 between the 120 Bypass and Interstate 205 where 40,000 trucks move each day. That means 28 trucks a minute pass any given point on that stretch of roadway.

The biggest source of truck trips in terms of origination and arrivals is in the Lathrop-French Camp region. Distribution centers, manufacturing and the railroad intermodal facility account for 24 percent of the trucking jobs in San Joaquin County. That is followed at 17 percent by the Stockton Highway 99 corridor, at 12 percent for the Port of Stockton and Stockton Metro Airport area, at 10 percent for Manteca-Ripon, at 9 percent for the Tracy Triangle, and at 7 percent for the Lodi Highway 99 corridor. Those six areas support 80 percent of the county’s trucking jobs.

When it comes to overall jobs in warehousing and goods movement, though, 67 percent of all jobs including trucking are supported by the Tracy Triangle. That will increase significantly   when Amazon opens its 1.2-million e-fulfillment center in Tracy with 1,700 permanent employees and 4,200 seasonal employees. The facility will open Oct. 1. The complex also includes a 100,000-square-foot Amazon Fresh facility.

Currently there are 22,590 jobs within San Joaquin County in the goods and warehousing employment category. After Amazon is up and running it will increase that number by 10 percent. And that doesn’t include the additional need for heavy and light truck drivers.

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