The new Lathrop Road interchange is expected to attract more highway commercial and retail seeking easy freeway access to Manteca.
Workers are nearing completion of the $250 million widening of 13.1 miles of Highway 99 into six lanes from Arch Road to Yosemite Avenue.
And while most see it as a welcome traffic congestion relief project, City of Manteca Economic Development Manager Don Smail is among those who see it as an opportunity to attract more jobs and sales tax dollars.
Smail noted the commercial development potential the new interchange affords Manteca curing the City Council’s recent midyear budget review.. Not only does it replace an inadequate 1955-era overcrossing that had problematic off-and-on freeway access but it resolve local road flow issues as well plus is opening up undeveloped land for commercial use.
Highway commercial uses generally are fast food establishments, gas stations, and hotels.
When improvements were made sewer and water stubs were put in place for the Fiore property on the southwest corner to allow quick conversion to highway commercial uses. The interchange has the most developable space around it of any in an urban setting along Highway 99 from Ceres north to Stockton.
The widening of North Main Street form Northgate Drive to Lathrop Road plus improve access from Highway 99 is expected to enhance the commercial appeal of a large parcel immediately north of Lancaster Drive. There is also a large parcel on the northwest corner owned By Delta College that Manteca considers viable for a large shopping center.
The interchange was designed with truck movements in mind.
Lathrop Road now offers a connection between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 without being impeded by train crossings. The corridor is expected to serve a growing industrial base along the Airport Way corridor.
The City of Manteca worked with Caltrans to design the interchange so it would serve as a northern entrance to Manteca. That includes design treatment to the side of the bridge plus the placement of Tidewater-style street lights on the bridge.