It could be a whole new ball game for Airport Way thanks to plans to extend a street named for the first Manteca resident ever to play Major League Baseball.
The city’s plans to extend Milo Candini Drive where it now ends today at the northern boundary of the Big League Dreams sports complex to Yosemite Avenue and then eventually north to Louise Avenue and beyond will help get truck traffic off of Airport Way. It also may reduce the need to widen Airport Way to six lanes and instead have it ultimately be four lanes between Yosemite Avenue and Daniels Street.
Under such a scenario the first phase of widening Airport Way from Yosemite Daniels could start in 2021 instead of 2023.
To make that a possibility, the City Council would need to add the Milo Candini extension north to Yosemite Avenue to the city’s Public Facilities Implementation Plan (PFIP) that determines fees charged growth for infrastructure such as major streets.
By extending Milo Candini Drive it provides another way for traffic from the north to travel to and from Costco and the Stadium Retail Center to take pressure off Airport Way. That is expected to reduce the ultimate lanes needed on Airport Way from Yosemite to Daniels to four lanes. In doing so it would minimize right-of-way acquisition and speed up the first phase of the Airport Way project.
The money that is saved from fees collected would be shifted to the Milo Candini extension.
Acting Public Works Director Koosun Kim will provide the Manteca City Council with an update on plans to extend Milo Candini Drive, the proposed widening of Airport Way and the PFIP when they meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
Milo Candini would be extended north of Yosemite Avenue in part by developers of the Exeter Business Park on the southwest corner of Louise Avenue and Airport Way that will feature more than 4 million square feet of distribution center style space. It would align with the signalized intersection on Louise Avenue west of the Manteca Unified School District office.
That extension would be used for truck traffic accessing the business park. Truck traffic would use either the McKinley Avenue interchange expected to break ground in the next few years or the Yosemite Avenue to reach the 120 Bypass.
The long range plan is to extend the Milo Candini Drive alignment north to Roth Road to serve as a truck route for current and future business parks to get truck traffic off of Airport Way.
Airport Way north of Yosemite Avenue was already envisioned to max out at four lanes.
Who was Milo Candini?
Milo Candini Drive is named for a Manteca native who signed a professional baseball contract with the New York Yankees in 1936. He was later traded to and played for the Washington Senators of the American League.
He pitched to all-time baseball legend Lou Gehrig, hit a home run to the deepest reaches of Monument Valley at Yankee Stadium and guarded President Truman on opening day in 1949.
Candini played for the now famous 1950 Philadelphia Whiz Kids. He played eight years in the majors and 13 years in the minor leagues.
His major league pitching record was 26 wins, 21 losses; .533 winning percentage; started 37 games; had 13 complete games; pitched a total of 537.2 innings; five shutouts; and won 12 games in relief with eight saves.
He has 144 plate appearances with a respectable .243 batting average. As a fielder, he committed a minuscule three errors for a .987 fielding percentage.
Candini graduated from Manteca High in 1935. He played football, basketball and baseball all four years for the Buffaloes.
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