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$2M facelift for two miles of Louise Ave.

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POSTED February 14, 2014 1:17 a.m.

A two-mile stretch of Louise Avenue is getting a $2 million makeover between Airport Way and Main Street this spring.

The makeover includes:

• making the Louise Avenue corridor more visually appealing  with median and curbside  landscaping.

• seal slurry work and stripping to create bike lanes.

• slowing down traffic that often exceeds the speed limit.

• installing missing sidewalk segments.

• reconstructing failed pavement areas.

• replacing non-compliant wheelchair ramps

The project’s construction portion of $1.6 million could be awarded to George Reed Inc. as the lowest bidder at Tuesday’s 7 p.m. council meeting at the Manteca Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

It is being funded with $1.82 million in federal and state transportation money that can only be used for enhancement and/or beautification of existing roadways. The balance is $180,000 in Measure K sales tax that will go toward reconstruction of failed pavement sections. No city funds are involved.

The project has been designed so it doesn’t eliminate any current turn movements at intersections.

The improvements are designed as a wash between the cost of maintaining the center median pavement and long-term landscaping care.

Staff had previously noted numerous studies show that medians and trees tend to slow down traffic. Lanes will also be narrowed somewhat to accommodate bicycle lanes.

The city expects the lanes to increase bicycle traffic. It will also provide a tie into the Tidewater Bikeway that crosses Louise Avenue.

The city was approached by the San Joaquin Council of Governments about federal money that was available only for transportation enhancement but had to be spent in a short time frame.

City staff had already identified improving Louise Avenue with the median but didn’t expect money to be available for years to come.

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