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Long-awaited work on 120- 99 project may start this July
austin road
By this time next year, the current Austin Road bridge spanning Highway 99 as seen north bound on Austin Road toward the railroad tracks will be history.

The goal now — once the three-phased Highway 99/120 upgrade is completed — is for the 120 Bypass to be six lanes from Highway 99 to Airport Way.

The bid deadline for the first-phase is in May.

The contract will be awarded so physical work could start in July.

It will take three years to complete the $36.9 million first phase.

The first phase:

*replaces the Austin Road interchange with a six lane overcrossing that also will clear the railroad tracks.

*constructs a second lane for the transition from the eastbound 120 Bypass to southbound Highway 99.

*reconfigures Woodward Avenue’s connection to Moffat Boulevard and its crossing of the railroad tracks.

*builds a new road connecting Woodward Avenue with Austin Road.

Mayor Gary Singh credited the San Joaquin Council of Governments for doing much of the pre-bid work in-house.

In doing so, it shaved roughly a year off the timeline originally envisioned to start actual construction.

It also has saved more than $1 million in upfront costs.

Singh said he is “confident” the second phase costing $28 million will be fully funded in time for it to go out to bid to synch with the end of the first phase work.

That means there would be no pause in construction.

The two phases could take as long as six years to complete.

The second phase will add an additional transition lane from northbound Highway 99 to the westbound 120 Bypass.

Singh said the third phase will now include six lanes from Airport Way to Highway 99. Originally, it was going to be six lanes from Main Street to Highway 99 with the other two miles being widened from four to six lanes in a later project.

The third phase costing $55 million would:

*restore the southbound off ramp — if it ends up being closed in the first phase — by constructing a grade-separated braided ramp to eliminate weaving with 120 Bypass merging traffic.

*construct the entrance ramp from Austin Road to northbound Highway 99 and to the westbound 120 Bypass as a loop ramp that will separate traffic movements to Highway 99 and the 120 Bypass.

*relocate the northbound Highway 99 exit ramp to Austin Road to accommodate the loop onramp.

*relocate the Highway 99 frontage road for about 0.8 miles.

*add an auxiliary lane in each direction on Highway 99 from the 120 Bypass to about 1.7 miles south of Austin Road by shifting the median away from the Union Pacific right-of-way and relocating the frontage road.

*add an auxiliary lane in the existing median of the eastbound 120 Bypass from Main Street to Highway 99 to provide a dedicated lane to connect to the new 120/99 separation structure.

The high cost of the third phase design is reflected in the necessity not to impede traffic flow and create a major safety hazard from the 120 Bypass south to 99 and from 99 going north to the eastbound 120 Bypass.

In order to do so the ramp for southbound Austin would start for eastbound 120 Bypass traffic at a point near the Bypass crossing of Moffat Boulevard and the railroad tracks while  the ramp for southbound 99 traffic to access Austin would start prior to the 120 Bypass connector flyover.

Singh said he is planning on working with the council and city staff to hopefully establish an area of benefit fee assessed on growth to help fund the final phase.

Currently, there is no money committed to the third phase.

Given it benefits Manteca more than through freeway traffic, the state isn’t likely to pitch in funding.

That said, the ramps as envisioned would move truck traffic and vehicles at fast enough speeds to merge safely that the Raymus Parkway interchange the city has talked about midway between Austin Road and Jack Tone Road that benefits more of Ripon’s future area than Manteca’s might not be needed.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email