Manteca’s elected leaders are happy that staff is making their direction to tear out the worst 2,500 feet of roadway in the city and replacing it with new pavement move closer to being a done deal.
But getting Lathrop Road between Airport Way and a point 200 feet east of London Avenue is just the start of what the council hopes will be something that will have an even bigger impact on Manteca streets.
Acting Public Works Director Koosun Kim and his staff have not only done all of the design work necessary to go out to bid on the project but they will also manage the construction.
For years road projects of any consequence have been farmed out to consulting firms for pre-bid work as well as managing the actual construction.
Kim noted the city has the staff talent to do such work.
“This is our test,” Kim said prior to the council Tuesday putting the $1.4 million project out to bid.
This is also a test of sorts of the City Council that has sold a major shakeup of top city management as being needed to streamline processes to deliver projects more timely for the community.
If the work starts in June and is completed before school start, incumbents Gary Singh and Debby Moorhead — if they chose to seek re-election in November — can offer it up as an example that the moves the council has made with department heads that ultimately end up addressing citizen concerns in a more timely manner.
The road will be completely torn out and rebuilt. An existing landscape median east of London Avenue will be partially removed to make room for at least an additional car in the left turn.
Mayor Ben Cantu inquired about making some improvements to the eastern corners of the Airport Way and Lathrop Road interchange to prevent vehicles from cutting it short and going into the dirt.
Kim noted adding such work would significantly delay the project as it would trigger an environmental analysis under state law. The project as it now stands is simply a rehab of existing pavement.
The $1.4 million project addressing the segment of pothole-riddled and cracked section of Lathrop Road is being funded by shifting the 2019 annual pavement maintenance funds — money used in past years to seal or apply slurry coatings to extend the life of neighborhood streets.
It will result in slurry seal work for Del Webb at Woodbridge being delayed. Kim indicated the delay — as long as it is not for a long period — will not jeopardize prolonging the life of the neighborhood streets.
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