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A cul-de-sac on Moffat?
Business park means major changes on Moffat
Traffic on Highway 99 will be impacted by the 1,049-acre Austin Road Business Park.
Moffat Avenue could end in a cul-de-sac just south of the existing intersection with Woodward Avenue in order to handle traffic impacts from the proposed 1,049-acre Austin Road Business Park.

It is one of two solutions outlined in a traffic plan designed to allow the development of the project southwest of the Moffat/Woodward intersection that has the possibility of creating up to 13,000 jobs and adding as many as 10,200 residents.

Austin Road Business Park goes before the City Council Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. The council will consider approving the environmental impact report, a master plan, pre-zoning, and annexation.

The phasing of the project is also included in the documentation. It is critical as it would allow jobs-related development to take place before needing to put in place a new Austin Road interchange somewhere to the south of its present location.

The first two phases are primarily business parks and industrial uses such as for distribution centers. It includes some mixed commercial that encourages high density residential projects as well as housing above stores in additional to other retail. The first two phases also include the site of a proposed 5,000-seat amphitheater that the Manteca Visitors Center is pursuing.

In order to use the Austin Road interchange as it exists to move truck traffic in and out of the business park modifications would need to be made until such time a new interchange is built.

As it stands now the Moffat-Austin Road intersection would become a mess with traffic not only trying to get to and from the freeway with heavy truck movements but also because it is on top of the Union Pacific Railroad crossing. The new interchange will have the future Austin Road bridging the tracks.

Another alternative instead of turning Moffat into a cul-de-sac south of Woodward would be to keep the road open but restrict movements on and off Moffat at Austin Road to right turns only.

Either solution would force a change in truck access to Spreckels Park making Austin Road a non-option.

The future interchange is required at a point south of the existing Austin Road interchange for several reasons. First, there needs to be a location where the freeway can be shifted to allow the bridge deck for the future interchange that will actually be an eastern extension of McKinley Avenue to clear both the freeway and the railroad tracks in much the same manner that Jack Tone Road does in Ripon. Also, Caltrans cannot add a much needed second transition lane from the 120 Bypass east to Highway 99 south because of inadequate spacing due to the Auction Road off ramp being too close to the on ramp.

Austin Road will also impact other key intersections such as Woodward and Main requiring additional lanes with most being dedicated turn lanes. Woodward Avenue would be widened to four lanes from Bridewell to Atherton Drive.

It would also trigger a need for traffic signals at various existing intersections including:
• Austin Road at Ripon Road.
• Van Ryn Avenue at Woodward Avenue
• Atherton Drive at Woodward Avenue.
• Pillsbury Road at Woodward Avenue.
• Van Ryn Avenue at Industrial Park Drive.
• Woodward Avenue at Moffat Boulevard.

The Woodward/Moffat signals would be needed in advance of any decision to either cut off Moffat traffic to the freeway or to go to right turns only on to and off of Moffat at Austin Road.