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471 trucks roll in & out of UP intermodal at peak hours
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Nearly 500 truck trips originate or end during four peak hours daily at the Union Pacific Intermodal facility that is in the process of being more than doubled.

The truck trip data is included in the Northwest Manteca Master Plan environmental report before the Manteca Planning Commission on Tuesday when they meet at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The master plan addresses 300.3 acres bound by Roth Road on the north, Airport Way on the east, Lathrop Road on the south, and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and intermodal facility on the west. It includes the proposed 273-acre Center Point distribution center project. Eighteen parcels consisting of 392 acres are being proposed for annexation to Manteca.

Fehr & Peers traffic consultants on May 27, 2009 visually counted peak hour movements at the intermodal yard that is a truck to train loading facility for truck trailers.

From 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., 82 percent of the truck traffic - or 386 trucks - turned west toward Interstate 5 and Lathrop. The other 18 percent or 85 trucks headed east toward Airport Way.

The Roth Road railroad crossing has 38 trains a day pass through it including 18 on the tracks heading south to Fresno and 20 on tracks heading toward Oakland. The accident rates per 100,000 vehicles on the Fresno subdivision tracks was .010 while the Oakdale subdivision tracks was .005. The national average is .500 for a typical railroad crossing.

Center Point Properties is spending $360,000 on environmental and master plan studies needed to turn empty fields into a teeming employment complex with 4 million square feet.

The project is different than most business parks as it has easy access to rail and is next door to the Union Pacific intermodal facility that loads and unloads truck trailers on flat beds for transportation via rail. It would have a direct crossing to the intermodal yard.

More and more cargo is being moved by a combination of train and truck making the location appealing for distribution centers.

It would create enough square feet to accommodate eight operations the size of the Manteca Ford Auto Parts Distribution Center in Spreckels Park. The space is also equivalent to 53 stores the size of Manteca’s Wal-Mart.

The project consists of:

•general plan amendments including changing the designation of a 78-acre parcel north of Lathrop Road from light industrial to general commercial.

•prezoning 16 parcels.

•approving a development agreement.

•creating a tentative parcel map for the development of 273 acres into an intermodal center that will be accessed from Roth Road and Airport Way.

•developing a master plan for buildings that have a combined 4 million square feet.

Developers are preparing to do a traffic study for the complex that includes 980 parking spaces for truck trailers and 769 loading dock doors.

What makes the Center Point project unique is that it is a being designed as a true intermodal distribution center.  That means every building would have rail service.

The location is especially advantageous for two reasons.

First it is just a few hundred yards from the southeast edge of the Union Pacific intermodal operation and with 10 miles of the Santa Fe intermodal operation that puts truck trailers on and of railroad flat bed cars for long distance transportation. The plus of having the two intermodal railroad operations nearby — one a four minute drive, if that — and the other 15 minutes away means whatever companies locate there have the capability of moving goods to and from virtually every major market west of the Mississippi River in a  time efficient manner.

Manteca is also at the heart of the third largest market — 17 million consumers — within a 100-mile radius behind New York-Long Island and Los Angeles. It is what attracted Bass Pro Shops to Manteca. That means trucks can travel to and from the distribution center to stores serving 17 million consumers easily within an eight-hour workday.

The site is virtually smack dab at the midway point Highway 99 and Interstate 5 accessed by Lathrop Road. It is also connected to the Highway 120 Bypass directly via Airport Way, which also provides access to Stockton Metro Airport.

If the distribution center materializes, it will be one of a kind in terms of location and size in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

The site still has to be annexed to the City of Manteca. It is within Manteca’s sphere of influence and is continuous to the city limits.