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Large encampment at Austin-99 interchange
Homeless evicted DSC 8919
A homeless man searches through a stack of bicycles on the shoulder of Moffat Boulevard at the southbound Highway 99 off ramp just west of South Austin Road where Caltrans crews had put them after finding them hidden in brush in the nearby retention basin. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Homeless individuals were evicted once again from a retention basin adjacent to the southbound Highway 99 off ramp at Austin Road by a Caltrans work crew Monday morning.
It was less than a year after Caltrans work crews cleared out another massive encampment at that location.
The homeless and their camps and bicycles were better hidden from view this time but some sharp-eyed citizens called Caltrans to complain about the encampment in the state right-of-way.
The Caltrans crew brought in a front scoop loading tractor and two dump trucks, first uncovering some two dozen bicycles they said had been placed behind shrubbery next to campsites.  With the oncoming wet weather, the water runoff into the retention basin from the highway and Austin Road could have been hazardous to those living there.
Along with the numerous bicycles, the crews had stuffed personal bedding and camping materials into large plastic bags that could be seen stacked in behind the many bikes on the ground above the basin’s banks as traffic roared by on the freeway.
As the crews were finishing cleaning the site a homeless man and woman could be seen rummaging through the bags and bicycles hoping to find some of their belongings.
It is against the law to squat within freeway right-of-way. There are safety issues involved for both the homeless and motorists.
What happened after the last cleanup is expected to happen again. The displaced homeless before headed back into Manteca to find places they could camp.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email