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Louise Ave. widening over tracks moves farther down the road
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The widening of Louise Avenue to four lanes over the Union Pacific railroad tracks is now one step closer to getting finished.

According to a presentation that Deputy Public Works Director Phil Govea made to the Manteca City Council Tuesday Night, the city is currently preparing to execute eminent domain proceedings to acquire a portion of land owned by PG&E that is necessary to complete the project.

While the city finished a complete redesign of the section of roadway that begins on the west side of the railroad crossing – including having Union Pacific reposition the crossing arms to allow for the widening to take place – in 2006, the required permission from the California Public Utility Commission to relocate a natural gas valve stalled the project.

Louise Avenue is already the location of the busiest intersection in town where it crosses Main Street, and the four-lane widening from Airport Way through to Union Road will only make access easier for those who travel the east-west thoroughfare.

And the route that provides direct access to Interstate 5 will get another major boost later this year when the City of Lathrop begins a $2.1 million overhaul of Louise Avenue that will widen the route from Fifth Street all the way to where Lathrop’s city limits meet Manteca’s near the Union Pacific crossing.

Currently the city needs only a small portion of land along Louise Avenue on the east side of the railroad tracks to complete the widening project. Per PG&E’s protocol the city must begin the eminent domain process before they will formally carry out negotiations about the sale of real property – something Govea said has the support of the utility provider and should be executed cleanly once the process begins.