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McKinley/120 Bypass work may start in spring
McKinley underpass
McKinley Avenue passing under the 120 Bypass will become the city’s fourth interchange on the 120 Bypass and the sixth overall on the six-mile stretch of freeway.

The long-promised McKinley Avenue interchange pivotal to handling growth in southwest Manteca, reducing traffic pressure on the Airport Way corridor and critical to the future development of the city’s 120-acre family entertainment zone is now on target to break ground in spring 2023.

The Manteca City Council Tuesday authorized eminent domain proceedings to obtain two remaining parcels if negotiations fail to produce an acceptable price for property owners and the city. The action means the city’s request for the California Transportation Commission to release $12.3 million in state money to complete project funding can move forward when the CTC  meets on Jan. 22.

When that action occurs, the bidding process could start in February.

If things go according to plan that means two major interchange projects will take place concurrently on the 120 Bypass corridor. The other is the first phase of the 120 Bypass/Highway 99 interchange upgrades expected to break ground in the spring as well . That project will add a second transition lane to southbound Highway 99 as well as replace the Austin Road interchange on Highway 99.

McKinley would be the fifth and final interchange along the Bypass between the 120 Bypass/Highway 99 interchange and the 120 Bypass/Interstate 5 interchange.

The McKinley interchange will provide access to roughly 3,000 housing units approved in southwest Manteca as well as allow access to a major employment center Lathrop has planned on the west side of McKinley north of the 120 Bypass.

It is being 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.

Once the interchange is in place, it would be possible for Great Wolf to exercise an option they have with the city to buy more land to accommodate another 200 hotel rooms. The initial 500-room indoor waterpark resort opened earlier this year.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email