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McKinley/120 Bypass project Is before council
McKinley ave bid
A partial cloverleaf will be built on the 120 Bypass at McKinley Avenue.

If all goes according to plan, Manteca will be ground zero for interchange construction in the Northern San Joaquin Valley later this year.

The Manteca City Council will consider calling for bids Tuesday for the McKinley Avenue interchange.

Manteca’s leaders also will seek bids for targeted pavement upgrades on Airport Way between Yosemite Avenue and Lathrop Road as well as repaving the parking lot at Library Park.

The city’s move comes as Caltrans is inching toward breaking ground on the first phase of the three-phase upgrade of the 120 Bypass/Highway 99 interchange along with the nearby Highway 99/Austin Road interchange.

While the Caltrans project is aimed at reducing congestion and improving safety, the McKinley Avenue project will essentially put in place the last possible interchange that can be built along the nearly 6-mile long Bypass between Highway 99 and Interstate 5.

The McKinley Avenue interchange is a critical feature of Manteca’s westside circulation plans and efforts to develop a 120-acre family entertainment zone bookended by Great Wolf and Big-League Dream sports complex.

It will provide freeway access to more than 3,000 homes already approved immediately to the south and west of the interchange location. The interchange will take pressure off the Airport Way corridor and substantially improve circulation in the Costco-FEZ area.

It also figures heavily into a possible Great Wolf expansion plan that calls for the resort to possibly buy 9.6 acres from the city to build an additional 200 rooms. The indoor water park resort opened with 500 rooms. Caltrans requires the interchange to be under construction before a hotel expansion can take place.

The northwest quadrant of the interchange is where Lathrop has plans for a large business commerce park.

The McKinley interchange is designed as the city’s first partial cloverleaf. But in order to save money the city is opting to build the inner ramp loops at a later date.

That means the initial construction will have all left turns from McKinley Avenue to 120 Bypass onramps go through signalized intersections just as they currently do at the Airport, Union, and Main interchanges. When the loops are completed northbound McKinley Avenue traffic will be able to get onto westbound 120 without going through a traffic signal as would southbound McKinley to eastbound 120.

It will include a separated bike path underneath the 120 Bypass that eventually will connect with the Atherton Drive bike path top provide access to Big League Dreams and the envisioned family entertainment zone.

Ultimately it will be a link in a separated bicycle pathway that loops the city going along McKinley Avenue north to connect with a path that cuts behind Del Webb at Woodbridge that crosses Union Road and ties into the Tidewater Bikeway. The Tidewater then heads south and ties in with the Atherton Drive Bikeway via Industrial Park Drive and Van Ryn Avenue. 

The McKinley Avenue interchange is also part of the long-range circulation plan for Manteca south of the 120 Bypass where more than 60 percent of the city’s population is expected to be by 2040.

The Airport Way work will upgrade the most egregious segments to improve travel in spots where an adjoining development isn’t moving forward to pick up the tab in the next year.
The planned work won’t result in a continuous “pretty new road look” but it will provide a smooth driving surface even though it will be a patchwork of surface applications.

The approach is to maximize what money the city can comfortably spend now to upgrade Airport Way that is destined to see heavier truck traffic as the years unfold.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email