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Austin interchange work nears

Council expected to call for bids for $2.4M in work

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Austin interchange work nears

The Moffat Boulevard/Austin Road intersection within Caltrans right-of-way is being widened to accommodate truck traffic. It will also have traffic signals.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED August 18, 2014 10:44 p.m.

Just about the time the Highway 99 widening project through Manteca wraps up another improvement project will start along the freeway.

The Caltrans portion of the improvements to the Austin Road interchange to accommodate the business park job generating phase of the 1,049-acre Austin Road Business Park is expected to go out to bid when the Manteca City Council meets tonight. The bid open is set for Sept. 18.

The initial $2.4 million worth of work will only involve changes with the Caltrans right-of-way. The balance of improvements needed to city streets including Austin Road, a segment of Moffat Boulevard connecting to Woodward Avenue and the railroad crossing will cost an additional $3 million. All of the improvements are needed before Austin Road Business Park partnership can start development of 4.8 million square feet of Business Park as part for the project’s first phase.

The Caltrans right-of-way work will include adding ramp metering — red and green lights that control the flow of traffic on to a freeway on the southbound onramp to Highway 99 at Austin Road. The requirement for ramp metering  is a nod to the fact the freeway at that point is heavily congested due to 120 Bypass eastbound traffic heading south onto Highway 99. The traffic currently causes backups daily on the 120 Bypass sometimes as far back as Airport Way. Once Highway 99 is widened to three lanes from the Crosstown Freeway in Stockton to the 120 Bypass the lane — that is now dedicated exclusively to 120 traffic that is heading onto 99 — will turn into a merge lane. That is expected to further because back-up issues which is where the metering ramp comes into play.

There would also be traffic signals at the off ramps as well as Austin Road or Moffat Boulevard. The Austin/Moffat traffic signals would be tied into the Union Pacific cross arms similar to signals at Moffat and Industrial Park Drive/Spreckels Avenue. The actual railroad crossing improvements will be made in the next phase.

Ramps at the Austin Road and Highway 99 interchange will be widened including allowing the southbound off ramp to 99 to have two left turn lanes and a right turn lane.

The improvements would allow the addition of more truck traffic through the Austin/Moffat intersection to reach distribution centers and such expected to locate in the 600-acre business park that’s part of the overall Austin Road Business Park.

Moffat Boulevard will be widened to four lanes to Woodward Avenue.

Besides the railroad crossing, the second part of the project includes widening Austin Road to federal standards to accommodate truck traffic to the business park.

The $2.4 million tab will be covered with $1,068,380 from Austin Business Partners, $900,000 from the state, $263,421 from the city and$155,084 from PG&E.

The remaining $3 million is proposed to come from $508,047 from San Joaquin Council of Government sources, $1.3 million in transportation fees Manteca has collected on new growth, $1 million fronted by the developed subject to a reimbursement agreement, and another $181,278 from the developer to cover the shortfall.

The $2.2 million the developer is putting up is $1 million more than their fair share under state rules that indicated growth mist pay its own way but not more than the cost it triggers.

The council when they meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center will consider a reimbursement agreement for that extra $1 million.

The developer will get their money back as the business park developers by splitting new property taxes 50-50 with the city until such time they collect $1 million.

Ultimately new

interchange needed

Ultimately, the existing interchange will be replaced with a new interchange for the envisioned Raymus Expressway with a six or eight lane bridge deck that would cross both the freeway and railroad. It would be located about midway between the 120 Bypass and Jack Tone Road and would serve future growth in both Ripon and Manteca. The existing interchange is too close to allow a substantial increase in traffic movements that would come with the commercial and retail portion of the Austin Road Business Park project. Caltrans has agreed to allow upgrades to the current interchange to allow the employment center portion of the project to start development.

The location of the future interchange could impact the proposed alignment of a major east-west road that many rural South Manteca residents are watching with a wary eye. That road essentially would connect with a proposed interchange at McKinley Avenue in the 120 Bypass and swing eastward to connect with the new interchange on Highway 99. Moving it farther south could take that east-west road into not just farmland but the 100-year flood zone as well. That can’t happen, though unless dry levees are built to protect the area.

The Austin Road Business Park project is so big it has the potential to:

uGenerate 10,200 residents or about a seventh of the existing population of Manteca.

uConvert 1,049 acres from farming and rural residential use to urban development.

uAdd 3.5 million square feet of general commercial or about 26 times the square footage of the Manteca Costco store.

uGenerate 8 million square feet of industrial/business park, and office use or space equal to 17 times the coverage area of the Ford Motor Parts distribution center on Spreckels Avenue,

It also includes 84 acres that are zoned for mixed commercial and a retail use which means it could involve condos above stores or large condo, apartment, or townhouse projects interwoven with commercial uses.

The residential alone represents the potential of creating $1.02 billion in today’s dollars.

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JimHilson: 4 weeks, 1 day ago

First, a couple of facts that need to be stated.
1. ALL new ramp construction in the county includes the requirement to install ramp metering now, even though it won't be initially used. The reason should be obvious - lower cost to install it as you build a new ramp than to tear up finished work to install it later.
2. The overall public opinion from both Manteca and Ripon residents is that this new industrial park is NOT wanted. Nor is the new road.
3. SJCOG money isn't slated to be available for many years. The program is funded to capacity and this one is several years away.
Read this article carefully to discover that they are trying to push the Austin Road offramp update as a way to get the construction started.
We have a water crisis on our hands and need to cut back. How does adding 10,000 residents help that?
The project eats up 1000+ acres of mostly farm land. It also opens up the real possibility of destroying all of the southern part of rural Manteca, not just those 1000 acres.
Why is PGE putting in $155,000 of the construction? Another reason why utility bills are on the rise again.
I moved out here to get away from the bumper to bumper traffic. Thanks to developers, it is now everywhere and the farmland is gone. I remember when the 120 Bypass was in the middle of nowhere and I remember when 205 was in the middle of nowhere. I guess I can add 99 to that list .

cmj: 4 weeks, 1 day ago

These valley cities need someone from the Bay Area to come and run them. They are chaos and unorganized in their planing and they have no regard for the citizens. Too many trucks and trains in urban areas. The noise and pollution in Lathrop and Manteca is ridiculous. The mayor of Manteca and Lathrop need to spend a week near the Union Pacific intermodal to see what they've allowed in a residential area for their citizens to be subjected to. They plan on allowing triple the train traffic, yet they have no money to build overpasses so the trains are blowing their horns 24 7 while they block traffic all over these cities. Coming from the Bay Area, I have seen we didn't do our research very well before moving to Manteca. It's been a real eye opener. As the intermodal expands, it is destroying the peace and quiet in with train horns blowing all night long, trains sitting and running their engines for hours all night long while the banging of containers being dropped on the train flat beds is crazy. These officials need to be voted out and someone with experience on growing should replace them, or this valley is going to be notorious for noise and pollution due to poor planing. I would discourage anyone from moving to either Lathrop or Manteca due to mismanaged growth.

fjar: 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Hernandez had an active role in creating an unprecedented string of deficits in this city.
He was part responsible for 12 police officers getting laid off. This was because the council spent the police support money on the BLD. Then they floated measure M on the Ballot to make up for the police funding they used. They needed support of this measure, so they bribed the city employees with a lavish raise, to support this measure. Later on, this huge raise led to deficits. They bridged the deficits by laying off city workers and visiting them three times for wage cuts.

Hernandez pushed for sidewalks on Moffat. The original cost was estimated at 750k, the council delayed the purchase and it cost over a million dollars. They delayed the purchase of a a ladder equipped fire truck that would have cost this city 750k,It's final cost was over a million dollars.

He brags about spending 7M in taxes to build a transit station in Manteca.Why did we need this expenditure for the local transit of mostly empty buses?

This man is part of an authoritative group that pawns itself off as representatives of the people.He and this council signed sweetheart deals with Costco, Bass Pros and they did this behind closed doors.Land that taxpayers paid for was given to Special Interest for the asking. Land is currently being considered for Wolf resorts for the mere sum of $1.00. at compares with Woodward park.

He and this council spends thousands of dollars on an overkill of soccer and Baseball fields in Manteca.

This man and the council has deprived us of a new library for thirteen consecutive years.

They have hoarded 70M in taxes that was designated for schools and public safety, but not one dime was considered for the Library. This city has derived us of Educational infrastructure, by telling us constantly, that the city is broke and can't afford a library expenditure. Then they commit to spending millions to base Special Interest in Manteca and spend on an overkill of sports fields.

I firmly believe it's time for change on the council, in order to restore our rights to a voice in City Government.This council is nothing less than a Socialistic, authoritative group that walks over the people of Manteca. They don't have the slightest idea on what Democracy stands for.


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