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McKinley Avenue: Expressway to Manteca’s future

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POSTED December 11, 2009 3:06 a.m.
McKinley Avenue is being envisioned as Manteca’s first expressway.

That means as it goes from its current alignment south of the Highway 120 Bypass and curves to the east to join up with the future $150 million Austin Road interchange near the eventual Manteca-Ripon city limit line, it will have restricted access. That means no driveways, no gas stations, and no commercial whatsoever.

Instead it will have access only at intersections.

It also will more than likely end up being Manteca’s southern most major street as the floodplain south of Nile Garden School will restrict growth.

The future of McKinley Avenue was the subject of a workshop Wednesday conducted in the McFall Room of the Manteca Library by Manteca’s public works and community development staff.

The corridor will be built in segments as growth dictates. The initial two lanes will be paid by a growth fee assessed on new homes in the general area south of the Highway 120 Bypass within Manteca’s city limits while developers will pay for the additional lanes as the area grows.

The initial construction will place a slightly depressed drainage swill down the middle with one lane running in each direction.

McKinley Avenue will more than likely be six lanes ultimately from the new interchange replacing Austin Road on Highway 99 to Austin Road. The new interchange is being located farther to the south and will also carry traffic over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

From Austin Road to Main Street the road will more than likely be four lanes. The remaining segment from where McKinley Avenue ends today on the section next to the Deer Park neighborhood to Main Street is expected to be two lanes.

Those in attendance Wednesday were residents in the impacted area who were interested in various alignment options. The three possible routes displayed Wednesday were the result of input from property owners at an earlier workshop.

Manteca also ultimately wants a full interchange at McKinley Avenue. The cost of such an endeavor is $30 million in today’s dollars.

Given the realistic job generating possibility of the 1,080-acre Austin Road Business Park with plans for distribution centers, the odds are that interchange will ultimately have a higher priority. The interchange on Highway 99 is more expensive not only due to the need to bridge the railroad tracks at the same time but also because Highway 99 needs to be shifted to accommodate the interchange.

There is no firm timetable for the development of McKinley Avenue as growth will dictate what happens.

The City Council, though, hopes to adopt a general alignment so that people in the area will know what they may be dealing with 10 to 30 years down the line. A route adoption for McKinley Avenue is expected to go before the City Council next spring.
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