Manteca’s most massive business park to date — the proposed 4.2 million square foot Exeter NorCal Inland Commerce Center — could end up having the least amount of impact on traffic as well as existing commercial and residential areas.
That’s because Manteca — at the urging of several council members led by Gary Singh — is pushing for a semi-exclusive truck road to serve the proposed development as well as eventually other business parks along the Airport Way corridor.
The initial study and mitigated negative declaration is being reviewed for the next 19 days for the 237-acre proposal on the southwest corner of Louise Avenue and Airport Way.
The truck access to the Exeter project would be from a road built south to Yosemite Avenue in alignment with the future extension of Milo Candini Drive that currently dead ends at the northern boundary of the Big League Dreams sports complex.
Singh has been the leading proponent to get a “spine road” for trucks in place between the CenterPoint Business Park where the 5.11 Tactical global distribution center is located to Yosemite Avenue west of Airport Way. His aim is to take truck traffic off of Airport Way to eliminate the intermixing of truck and vehicle traffic as well as reduce the wear and tear on pavement.
“If we get truck traffic off of Airport Way we can avoid the need to eventually widen Airport Way to six lanes,” Singh said. “That will save a lot of money.”
Singh noted if the city can reduce the need to widen Airport Way just between Wawona Street and Yosemite Avenue; it would eliminate the costly need to relocate more substantial PG&E distribution power poles. The city, as an example, spent several million dollars to relocate six such PG&E power poles on Union Road for the diverging diamond interchange project.
Singh said once truck traffic reaches Yosemite Avenue, it would be forced to turn right. They would then have the option to turn left on McKinley Avenue to reach the 120 Bypass once the new interchange is built or stay on Yosemite Avenue and merge onto the freeway just prior to the off-ramp to Interstate 5.
The biggest snag to getting a spine road for truck traffic all the way from Yosemite Avenue to CenterPoint is the Lathrop “Wye” where the Fresno and Altamont lines for Union Pacific Railroad mesh. Until a separation of some type could be put in place, truck traffic would have to travel on Airport Way for a short distance and then return to the spine road.
The Exeter NorCal Inland Commerce Center is being proposed where the city has approved 1,041 housing units to be built as part of the Villa Ticino West subdivision.
Singh said he has opposed the housing project as far back as his days on the Manteca Planning Commission. That’s because he doesn’t believe the city should approve any new housing projects that abut against railroad lines.
Singh believes everything west of Airport Way and north of Yosemite Avenue should be developed as business parks.
He is hopeful the Exeter project will eventually spur smaller light industrial projects along the extension of the spine road to Yosemite Avenue to help redevelop that area.
The road through the Exeter project would align Milo Candini Drive with the traffic signal currently at Louise Avenue and Villa Ticino Drive by Amazon Prime west of the Manteca Unified School District office complex. That road north of Louise Avenue would then be extended at a future date toward CenterPoint to complete the spine road.
The Exeter project would consist of seven high-cube warehouse buildings of various sizes with a combined floor area of 3.9 million acre feet. One of the buildings would be able to expand by 234,360 square feet for an overall total of 4.2 million square feet. By comparison CenterPoint — the largest approved business park in Manteca — will eventually have 3.1 million square feet of distribution centers.
There would be 756 truck docks on the various buildings, 680 spaces for truck and trailer parking as well as 1,949 parking spaces for other vehicles.
A landscape buffer with a walk/bike path is proposed along Airport Way.
Light vehicle traffic would be able to access the commerce center from a street with traffic signals connecting with Crom Street at Airport Way.
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