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Creating style for Manteca is expensive proposition
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The old-fashioned dawn-of-the-20th century style street light and traffic light poles have helped create an image for downtown that Manteca has deployed elsewhere in the city. It is a look that doesn’t come cheap. Having fluted poles for traffic signals at an intersection, as an example, can add $120,000 to the $500,000 cost. When the $10 million extension of Daniels Street to McKinley Avenue is completed next year, the 500,000 annual guests expected to visit the 500-room Great Wolf indoor waterpark resort now under construction will see the continuation of the fluted street light poles and old-fashioned style light covers that now line Daniels west of Airport Way just as they line the heart of downtown. The traffic signals at the entrance to Great Wolf at Daniels Street, however, will not be a replica of the fluted traffic signal poles at Airport Way and Daniels Street. Instead they will be the same tone of black as the decorative street lights instead of the typical “steel look” of traffic signals. City Manager Tim Ogden noted it is adhering to the council direction to “do it right” the first time while striving to keep costs in line. The same will be true of the poles supporting the overhead flashing LED beacons for pedestrian crossings on Yosemite Avenue at Sherman Avenue and Garfield Avenue in front of Manteca High that will be installed this summer as part of the Yosemite Avenue upgrade project from Cottage Avenue to Main Street. The decorative street lights that match the ones found along Yosemite Avenue can be found along the Tidewater Bikeway as well as in select neighborhoods. The city gives developers the option of two decorative street light designs if they want to upgrade from standard street lights. A previous council included them on the bridge portion of the new Lathrop Road interchange on Highway 99 as they wanted to “set a tone” for those passing through Manteca from the north at what is the entrance to the city for southbound freeway traffic. An entrance sign that complies to Caltrans standards is in the process of being constructed on the northwest quadrant of the interchange. Ogden did not know whether the fluted street lights would be incorporated into the McKinley Avenue interchange that — when it is completed — would serve as the entrance to Manteca for eastbound 120 Bypass traffic. Ogden noted there is no written policy dictating when the decorative street lights should be required. Earlier this year when the council directed staff to work toward installing additional street lights in the downtown area, they indicated that they wanted to continue use of the fluted street light poles. Areas where council members said they’d like to see additional fluted street lights placed were east on Yosemite Avenue to Garfield Avenue, west of Yosemite to the museum, in the 100 block of South Main and possibly the 200 block of North Main. To contact Dennis Wyatt, email