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Another bridge across river
River Islands building Golden Valley crossing
The City of Lathrop is working on replacing the 88-year-old Manthey Road bridge across the San Joaquin River.

River Islands at Lathrop won’t cause much congestion during commute hours on Interstate 5 between the 120 Bypass and Interstate 205 connectors.

That’s because Caltrans and the developer have worked out a deal that would eliminate the Manthey Road interchange on Interstate 5 as the access point for the 11,000-home planned community.

That will happen sometime after the 800th home is built and occupied. Sales are expected to start this spring as model homes for three neighborhoods are now under construction.

Currently Stewart Road, which T-intersects with Mathney Road just south of the San Joaquin River is the only access point to River Islands.

Cambay Group several years ago completed a bridge across the San Joaquin River about a mile to the northwest that is known as Bradshaw Crossing. The bridge, though, is currently unconnected to roads on either side of the river. Ultimately, Louise Avenue will connect with the bridge and a new expressway on the River islands side that will lead to Paradise Avenue and ultimately to an interchange at that location on Interstate 205. Vehicles probably won’t be able to access the bridge, however, for at least five years when development in River Islands gets closer to the crossing.

River Islands has secured permits for a second bridge connecting the planned community with the Mossdale Crossing neighborhood north of the river. That bridge will connect to River Island’s planned town square via Golden Valley Parkway that runs just west of the Target store and intersects with Louise Avenue.

River Islands project manager Susan Dell’Osso has indicated work could start on the second bridge within three years.

At the same time Lathrop is moving forward with plans to replace the 88-year-old Manthey Road bridge.

The Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Bridge Program will fund 88.53 percent of the cost of the project. The rest will be paid for through a variety of development fees and other local funds. Funding for the preliminary engineering and environmental studies has already been secured.

Whether the bridge would require new or additional pilings has yet to be determined.

Bridges over the San Joaquin River at Lathrop have a long and storied history. While the golden spike for the transcontinental railroad was hammered into the ground by Leland Stanford in Utah in May of 1869, the bridge at Mossdale Crossing wasn’t finished until September making it the last link from San Francisco to the East Coast to be completed.