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Firms insurance picking up tab for transit center damage
It is costing $195,580 to repair a damaged section of the transit center shade structure. - photo by Bulletin file photo

The most expensive “fender bender” in Manteca during 2017 involved a utility truck making a delivery for a private event at the Manteca Transit Center.
The driver tried to make a U-turn under one of the shade structures that have solar power panels mounted on them. The cargo box portion of the truck hit one of the shade structure’s tapered rigid supports severely damaging it as well as other parts of the structure.
The accident happened Aug. 26, 2017. On Tuesday staff is asking the City Council when they meet at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., to call for bids to do the necessary repair work. The insurance firm that provided coverage for the company whose truck struck the shade structure will be out $195,580 when the repair is done. That includes $25,580 to prepare plans and specifications and $170,000 to do the actual repairs.
The shade structure repair makes the $39,000 the city spent on placing a roof structure in 2016 over the trash enclosure to keep vagrants from trying to break in and possible strip wiring from control panels for the solar power system seem cheap in comparison.
The transit center mishap underscores the expensive bottom line when drivers either lose control of their vehicles or accidently strike city property.
Drivers in Manteca every year knock down street lights, traffic light poles and fire hydrants.
Fire hydrants — the most common road side item the city has that gets damaged by vehicles — can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $4,000 to have replaced.  Hydrants in Manteca are often damaged as often as twice a month.
Figures gleaned from Department of Transportation sites peg the cost of replacing and installing a typical street light can average between $5,000 and $8,000. If someone takes out a traffic signal pole they can expect to be on the hook for at least $60,000.
But if they damage one of the more expense ornamental light standards or traffic signal poles in downtown the cost is significantly higher. The city is waiting to replace a Tidewater Bikeway-style street light on Yosemite at Lincoln avenues and a traffic signal pole at Center and Main streets. Due to a more custom design they also take longer to obtain the replacement poles.
 The city actively pursues those who cause accidents that damage public property whether it is a fire hydrant, street light, traffic light, road sign or a street tree in order to retrieve replacement costs.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email