LATHROP - A second bridge over the San Joaquin River to access River Islands at Lathrop could start construction in the next few years even though the current span being built may not carry traffic for at least five years.
It is because of a shift in economic forecasts that has Cambay Group thinking that their planned employment center could move forward before the housing market rebounds adequately.
“We are thinking it may make more sense to do that as accessing the employment center (from the Bradshaw Crossing bridge now being built) would be a little out of the way, noted Susan Dell’Osso who serves as project manager for Cambay Group, developers of the 4,800-acre Stewart Tract planned community.
Cambay Group has hired a marketing expert specifically to work with companies that are looking to expand or relocate. Cambay Group’s employment center calls for uses that have extremely low truck traffic so it would not serve distribution or traditional manufacturing.
The second crossing would be just west of the railroad bridge. It would directly access the planned town square and waterfront plaza which is adjacent to the employment center on the eastern boundaries of River Islands that is about a quarter of a mile from Interstate 5 and behind Dell’Osso Farms. There is no access planned between Interstate 5 and River Islands.
The bridge now under construction will run through the middle of the project that includes 11,000 homes. Ultimately, it will connect with existing roadways enabling a driver to go from the eastern end of Louise Avenue where it T-intersects with North Ripon Road east of Manteca to Tracy.
When Bradshaw Crossing is completed in 2012, it will be a giant steel and concrete canopy ending some 10 feet above the ground on either side of the river. The approaches will be put in place when development gets under way in earnest.
Cambay decided to proceed with construction even though the bridge may not be needed for five years or so. That’s due to permits that were about to expire as well as favorable construction costs.
Cambay Group is noted for long-term investments. It spent 17 years before a similar-sized project in the East Bay known as Dougherty Valley turned dirt. The firm has spent well over $150 million so far on the Lathrop project between land acquisition, creating 300-foot-wide super levees, securing water, making site improvements, and obtaining sewer capacity.
At build-out the residential portion alone could easily represent $6 billion worth of development at today’s market prices.