The bane of many Manteca motorists — bulb-outs along the 100 block of North Main Street — will finally be torn out later this year.
And Main Street’s last chokepoint between the 120 Bypass and Lathrop Road will finally be removed.
But that is just the start of the good news.
Manteca’s municipal staff has found a way to do the work for almost half the $3.9 million price tag.
They are proposing using pavers from Yosemite Avenue to Alameda Street.
The Manteca City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. will consider calling for bids for the long-delayed project whose final design was done in house instead of using the consultants.
The paver solution addresses a multitude of problems.
They include the desire to retain 10-foot wide travel lanes, avoid costly relocation of street lights and traffic signals that would be subject to notorious PG&E delays that drive the cost of projects up, eliminates the need to replace 4,000 plus feet of curb and gutter, addresses perennial flooding during heavy or sustained downpours at the Main and Center intersection, recharges the groundwater, and does not require taking out sidewalk and making them narrower or having store doors replaced so they open inward.
It also eliminates the need to paint traffic lanes, sidewalks, and turn lane arrows as those are put in place with colored pavers.
There is also the low maintenance cost. Pavers have a lifespan of 65 years versus asphalt at 17 years. Also if utility work is done, pavers are removed to get into trenches and then replaced without unsightly and often uneven pavement patching. If by chance several pavers “settle” they can easily be taken out and repacked using sand.
The pavers also beautiful the areas much like they do in downtown Ripon as well as some neighborhood streets in that city. Pavers tend to slow traffic down a bit adding another benefit. And while the city will not allow the upgraded Main Street to be used as a truck route, the pavers are strong enough to handle trucks. Pavers were used by Stanislaus County to address a problematic area in Westley off of Interstate 5 that is used extensively by trucks.
Acting Public Works Director Koosun Kim noted what drove to look for a long-term solution that addressed various issues was a need to keep costs down and address what is literally an underlying issue. When the original Highway 99 was “paved” through Manteca along what is now Main Street, concrete was used initially. Over the years asphalt has been placed on top. The fact concrete is under the asphalt reduces the life expectancy of the asphalt.
The original cost was pegged at $3.9 million. By using pavers the project will cost $1 million to $2 million for the 2,600-foot long stretch and roadway that averages 50 feet in width depending upon the condition of the existing 6-inch thick concrete.
Kim noted pavers are designed to function on concrete while asphalt isn’t.
By using pavers the 2-foot wide gutters can be eliminated on both sides of the street. That space can then be added to travel lanes so all four lanes and the turn lane in the middle are 10 feet wide.
Pavers are packed in sand making them a permeable road surface. The area under where the gutters are now would have a 2-foot wide “French drain” or storm water infiltration system using gravel. The drains will run the distance from Yosemite to Alameda on both sides of the street and will go down far enough runoff can effective recharge the ground water and take pressure off the storm drain system.
Kim noted the flatness of the area has kept solutions the city has put in over the years form being 100 percent effective.
To contact Dennis Wyatt@mantecabulletin.com