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Lathrop may move ahead with widening
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 If the reaction from the public is to be believed, the City of Lathrop is planning on moving forward with plans to widen Lathrop Road to two lanes in each direction.
On Monday Adrianna Lopez – the Lathrop resident that said she was planning on holding out after an offer by the city to purchase a small encroachment onto her property to acquire the right-of-way to allow the project to continue as planned – pressed the Lathrop City Council for answers after rumors began to swirl that the city was moving forward by preparing to seek bids on the controversial project.
The council had said that the city would halt advancement while answers were prepared for residents that were concerned with how the proposed widening would impact their properties and their lives – the increased traffic, eliminated on-street parking and realignment of the streetscape all serving as complaints that were lodged by both property owners and neighboring residents alike – but some of those questions, Lopez said, were never answered.
In addition to the implications for those who own homes along Lathrop Road, the issue of students who walk along the busy thoroughfare in the morning to get to Lathrop High School – crossing over a freeway onramp and an off-ramp on their way to the campus – became a focal point of the opposition, especially after it was revealed that the route through Lathrop could carry more large trucks that may be passing by to get either to new commercial properties being built in the area, or accessing Highway 99 by driving through the community.
In recent years, the City of Lathrop has used a combination of monies to build a pair of at-grade overcrossings above the Union Pacific railroad tracks aimed at preventing traffic from backing up, and both bridges widen out to two lanes in each direction before the extra lane is eliminated on either side of the bridge.
And the Caltrans, in conjunction with the San Joaquin Council of Governments (who also supplied Measure K funds for Lathrop’s projects), recently completed a drastic overhaul of the Lathrop Road interchange on Highway 99 that made it much more friendly for truck and vehicle traffic as they enter the northern city limits.
If the project does go out to bid, it will have to come back to the Lathrop City Council for a final decision before the bid can be formally accepted. According to city staff, the proposal that was submitted to the council for consideration was designed to have the least amount of impact on property owners, and calibrated specifically only to acquire the acquisition of right-of-way for three parcels on the northern side of the street.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.