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Caltrans clears out tent city at Austin/99
Encampment razed DSC 4710
Caltrans workers and volunteers from the DVI prison in Tracy began cleaning out a homeless camp at 8 a.m. Wednesday on Moffat Boulevard and Austin Road that had been mostly hidden by trees and high growing bushes in a water retention basin. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

One more homeless encampment has been eliminated along Highway 99 by Caltrans.
A Caltrans crew, with the support of inmates from DVI in Tracy, began to break down the homeless encampment in the storm retention snuggled against the northwest corner of Austin Road overpass by the southbound off ramp and Moffat Boulevard at 8 a.m. Wednesday. It displaced at least eight men and women living in the retention basin. Those affected began to collect their valuables and move out of the area when they spotted the white Caltrans trucks approaching their camp on the shoulder of the road.
The illegal encampment was within the Caltrans freeway right of way.
Manteca Police community resource officer Mike Kelly said the area had been posted previously so that those living in the camp would have notice and not be surprised by the early morning eviction procedures.  They left with bicycles, and trailers carrying boxes of food and clothing that they had with them in the camp.
A short time later a number of homeless were seen sitting on the sidewalk on Moffat Boulevard in front of a furniture store,  eating what appeared to be their breakfast.  Their bicycles and trailers were parked neatly next to the curb as morning commute traffic passed by their location.
Caltrans used a large skip loader that they drove down the embankment to tear down the two large tents in the heavily wooded water retention basin.  Four-by-four vertical posts used for one tent had to be taken down by the manpower provided by the crew.
It took the workers more than three hours to clear the site and return it to its original state with some remaining young cottonwood trees. The camp had been well camouflaged by the vegetation growth that it was difficult to see from either Highway 99 or Moffat Boulevard.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email