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Major $4M upgrade for Louise Avenue through Lathrop
louise avenue
Louise Avenue running toward the top of the photo with its interchange with Interstate 5 is undergoing a major upgrade.

Louise Avenue – a major thoroughfare that connects Lathrop to Manteca and provides local access for trucks exiting I-5 – is about to get a major overhaul.

The Lathrop City Council voted on Monday to unanimously approve the allocation of funding necessary to complete the pavement rehabilitation for the major east-west corridor that provides access for residential, commercial, and industrial development.

And the project – which will include removal and replacement of the existing sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, reconstruction of the road’s structural segment and wearing course, the construction of two center medians, and the construction of a 12-inch sewer main – comes with a lofty price tag.

The council’s approval included accepting a bid from DSS Inc. – now known as Knife River Construction – for $4,046,608 which includes bid alternates in the amount of $377,654 and a contingency of $367,874. The council also approved transferring $750,000 from the Water Capital Replacement Fund and $1,250,000 from the Street Reserve Fund to the Streets Capital Improvement Project Fund in order to streamline the funding of the project.

While funding was included in the 2020/21 budget, the full amount needed for the project was not allocated – requiring the additional funding from both the water capital replacement fund, which is possible because of the sewer line that is being included, and the streets capital improvement project fund.

After creating a road maintenance and repair program in 2018, studies have shown that Louise Avenue includes pavement that is structurally deficient and has a segment between Harlan Road and the railroad tracks east of 5th Street that is deteriorating rapidly – moving this project ahead of others on the list of streets that need rehabilitation.

Plans and specifications for the project were completed for the project in July, and bids were advertised shortly thereafter. The city received a total of eight bids for the project which ranged from the bid awarded to DSS – $3,341,080 – to Granite Construction’s $4,655,113.

According to the map viewed by the council, the entire length of Louise Avenue from I-5 to 7th Street with be overhauled. Along that route, the vast majority of the property on the north side of Louise Avenue are single family homes and nearly the entire section to the south of the work is the former Pilkington-LOF float glass manufacturing facility that was acquired for industrial development after the business closed its doors.

In recent years the property to the south of Louise along Lathrop’s arterial stretch has been used by Tesla to temporarily store vehicles after they are constructed in Fremont and before they are shipped out to showrooms throughout the West Coast Region. The company also constructed a new building behind the shuttered plant which will be used to augment the company’s existing operations in the city – anchored by a building that faces I-5 that is used for the computerized machining of parts that are used in the popular electric cars.

The project will begin immediately after the section of roadway that passes beneath I-5 that includes both onramps and offramps for California’s main arterial Interstate – the inclusion of which would require additional steps that involve clearances from both state and federal agencies.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.