Get ready for what could qualify as two months of traffic headaches for residents east of Highway 99 and those that use the Cottage and Louise avenue corridors to reach shopping venues.
Starting Monday, July 9, Louise Avenue will be closed to traffic from Cottage Avenue to Souza Boulevard just west of the Highway 99 overcrossing for up to 50 days. The timeline means Louise Avenue will be closed during at least the first three weeks of the 2018-2019 school year. Manteca Unified starts classes on Aug. 8.
The closure will allow Trumark Homes to install new utilities as well as build a large roundabout at Louise Avenue and Felice Way as part of the 492-home TruLiving in Manteca age restricted community.
At the same time Southland Road will be closed between South Mitchell Road and just beyond the mobile home park on the North Highway 99 Frontage Road. It will allow major infrastructure work connected with the project to take place as well.
Detour routes will be marked for both closures.
City officials are hoping cross-town drivers that use Louise Avenue to reach the Spreckels Park shopping area anchored by Target will refrain from cutting through neighborhood streets in the Shasta Park area.
To avoid cutting through residential neighborhoods those living east of Highway 99 are encouraged to either use Yosemite Avenue or travel north on Cottage Avenue and turn west on Lathrop Road.
Just as the work on Louise Avenue is wrapping up, major paving work will start in September along two other major travel corridors — Main Street between Yosemite Avenue and Atherton Drive as well as Yosemite Avenue between Main Street and Cottage Avenue.
The roundabout and related work is costing the developer about $1.7 million. It will be the first roundabout north of the 120 Bypass.
The city opted to require the roundabout instead of traffic
signals for five reasons.
*They did not want two intersections close together controlled by traffic signals which would create a severe disruption in traffic control. There are signals already at Louise Avenue and Cottage Avenue.
*The city’s long-term maintenance costs would be significantly lower by going with a roundabout in lieu of traffic signals.
*It keeps traffic moving and reduces speed at the same time.
*It improves air quality by eliminating stop signs which in turn reduces increased air pollution created by stop and go movements.
*It would make it somewhat safer for pedestrians to cross.
The basic functional design will be similar to the roundabout on four-lane 11th Street just west of Interstate 5 where it intersects with West Gantline Road/Kasson Road on the way to Tracy. Two lanes of eastbound and westbound Louise will wrap around the landscaped roundabout. At the same time Felice Way will have one travel lane in each direction feed into the roundabout. Typically roundabouts have yield signs and not stop signs.
Trumark will be required to widen their side of Louise Avenue to accommodate four lanes with curbs gutters and sidewalks.
That will still leave a pair of two-lane stretches on Louise Avenue between Airport Way in the west and Pestana Avenue in the east — the overpass of Highway 99 and a segment just east of Main Street.
Neighborhoods built in Manteca during the last several years as well as those moving toward groundbreaking all have roundabouts. They are typically along neighborhood entrance streets and near parks.
The use of roundabouts allows the city to keep traffic moving while slowing it down enough to allow access from connector streets. They also go toward meeting a mandate of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to reduce vehicle idling. The more time vehicles have to stop at traffic signals or stop signs, the less efficiently they burn carbon-based fuel which in turn impacts air quality. Idling vehicles are a major source of valley air pollution.
Roundabouts also save cities a considerable amount of money and can reduce the cost of new homes. That is accomplished by deploying roundabouts instead of traffic signals wherever feasible on moderately traveled streets. Not only does that save $500,000 in upfront cost for signals but it reduces ongoing maintenance costs. The reduced development costs also can translate into slightly lower housing prices. The cost of neighborhood infrastructure including improvements to nearby arterial streets are collapsed into the price of a new home.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org