By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
$800K project aims to improve Louise & I-5
Placeholder Image

LATHROP – It might not be the full $3.8 million revitalization that the city had initially planned, but the intersection of Louise Avenue and Interstate 5 will still get a facelift.

On Tuesday the Lathrop City Council approved the plan proposed by city staff to move forward with the roughly $800,000 they have on hand to spruce up one of the busier intersections in town – improving access to southbound lanes for drivers going East on Louise Avenue.

“What happens there is when there’s a line of cars, there’s no right turn lane for drivers who want to get on I-5 and go south,” Councilman Sonny Dhaliwal said. “This is designed to change that.”

The project itself was initially going to get a $3 million boost from Measure K funds that would have allowed for a complete redesign of the traffic that flows underneath and onto I-5.

Work was supposed to include the cutting away of the concrete sloping included in the underpass, the construction of retaining walls and the widening of the lanes that flow through.

But since that money has now been designated for other projects, the city is left with $140,000 from community facility fees and a $645,000 federal grant to tackle the project.

According to Public Works Director Steve Salvatore, the plans are now to use the money that the city has to dedicate a full-turn lane in each direction with thru lanes and a way for traffic headed eastbound on Louise Avenue to reach the I-5 South onramp without having to wait for the thru traffic to pass.

That’s not to say though that the future work will have to be scrapped.

Salvatore said that while the $3 million from Measure K is not currently in the pipeline, that money could become available in several years – making it possible to complete the concrete cutaways, signal improvement and lane widening that was originally scheduled.

And with the project on the list of items that the One Voice enclave will take back to Washington, D.C., for consideration by elected officials, the potential for that to happen even sooner does exist.

The completion of the environmental studies needed to tackle the new project will likely take 5-6 months, and the encroachment permit from Caltrans will take also several months.

Salvatore anticipates construction to begin during the summer.