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Better one or two?
Council to pick design for Manteca transit station
Renderings by RRM Design Group RRM Design Group has devised two architectural styles for the downtown transit station. This rendering depicts a more modern architectural treatment as it would look entering off Moffat Boulevard. - photo by Renderings by RRM Design Group

It’s a big decision: Modern or traditional?

The Manteca City Council will give the green light Tuesday to one of two architectural designs for the transit station being built at Moffat Boulevard and South Main Street.

It is the first new building from the ground up to be built in downtown Manteca in almost 30 years. The last new structure was the Kentucky Fried Chicken building that is now Athens Burgers.

It is also a high profile building. Not only is it on one of Manteca’s heaviest traveled north-south thoroughfares - South Main Street - but it is also along one of two possible corridors for high speed rail service between Los Angeles and Sacramento. While the California High Speed Rail trains on such a route would not stop in Manteca the station would provide a fleeting impression of Manteca to passengers.

The traditional design has more 90-degree lines while the modern version has a curving roof line and more glass. The roof picks up a bit on the design of another major Moffat Boulevard structure - the Crossroads Grace Community Church.

The site plan calls for a public plaza to the west and north of the actual transit station. There will be a separate entrance near Grant Street for dropping off passengers that includes a roundabout for turning around. Once past the roundabout commuters can access the parking lot.

Bus access will enter directly across from Grant Street and then loop back to Lincoln Avenue. In between there will be space for five buses to load and unload.

The project will abut up against the Tidewater Bikeway that will be rerouted. Instead of curving as it does now to reach the South Main Street crossing, it will continue in a straight line and then veer north along a short segment of South Main to reach the intersection.

The design portion of the $6.6 million transit station project is being funded with federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The 7,000-square-foot station will be accompanied by a 100-space parking lot on 3.1 acres.

The two-story building will include space for transit staff that encompasses dispatching functions, ticket and pass sales, offices for city and transit services contractor staff, a lobby area, a break room for drivers, and a conference room that will be available for public use. The plan also calls for allowing on-street parking along Moffat.

The transit station is being paid for in a large part by the countywide Measure K transit sales tax. Manteca was able to get available money left over from other projects in San Joaquin County because they were ready to move forward. None of the money being used for the project targeted to break ground later this year is from the municipal general fund and can only be used for transit projects.

Federal stimulus funds will be used to install a fiber optic cable to run from the proposed transit station to the Civic Center at a cost of $300,000.

The fiber optic cable will provide the backbone for park security cameras that are going in at Southside and Library parks as well as to connect with safety cameras that will be put in place at various bus stops along the city’s transit system for improved security at a cost of $133,400. The security cameras for bus stops as well as the ability to build 10 to 15 bus shelters complete with benches, trash receptacles, and improved signage at most Manteca Transit stops at a cost of $1,353,798 is also being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Plans for the transit station currently do not call for a train platform as the Altamont Commuter Express high speed rail service is not expected to be extended southward into Merced County for at least five to 10 years. There is also a possibility that such service could go down the center of the Highway 120 Bypass and require ACE to build a station at Main Street as part of the overcrossing much like the BART station was built in Pleasanton.

The transit station will hopefully serve Greyhound and ACE trains in the future. It will serve as a hub for Manteca Transit and intercity SMART buses.

The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.