It isn’t your imagination.
One of the endless ads urging people to keep the gas tax increase by voting no on Proposition 6 is a shot of East Highway 120 (East Yosemite Avenue) as you approach Highway 99 heading into town from Escalon.
Naturally it shows a severely backed up flow of traffic that on Saturdays and Sundays can be so bad traffic starts moving at a crawl just past Jack Tone Road.
Obviously it is aimed at Bay Area voters who head to the hills and the Sierra on the weekends who are all-too-familiar with the backup.
That said there are absolutely no plans on the radar through at least 2040 for extending the 120 Bypass from where it now merges into Highway 99. When last talked about in the 1980s when the 120 Bypass between Highway 99 and Interstate 5 was put in place, Caltrans envisioned extending the 120 Bypass eastward to rejoin the current East Highway 120 alignment near Jack Tone Road.
There is though, as Mayor Steve DeBrum who has worked behind the scenes to secure regional support for improving the death stretch of the eastbound 120 Bypass between Main Street and Highway 99 as well as the epic backup that occurs during the morning and afternoon commutes on both freeways because of the current design of the 120 Bypass/Highway 99 interchange notes, a plan in the works to fix the Bypass mess.
It will require $81.6 million of which agencies involved will require funds generated in the coming years from the 12 cent gas tax hike to build. With the gas tax increase in place, work could get started as early as 2022 on making physical improvements. But since the work wasn’t programmed as part of the gas tax that was in place before last November and there is a long list of pressing bridge and freeway repair needs in the que, the Bypass work will not happen if the tax increase goes away.
Both city councils in Manteca and Lathrop have gone on record against Proposition 6.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com