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Plan may send trucks down French Camp to Highway 99
A truck travels down Lathrop Road. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

A regional approach led by the San Joaquin Council of Governments could end up establishing a truck route corridor to address growing issues with trucks in the northern areas of both Manteca and Lathrop.

If it is successful it will eventually create a truck route with all of the necessary improvements to accommodate truck movements as well as automobiles, pedestrians, bicyclists and rail.

Dubbed the “Roth Road Corridor Study”, it will identify necessary improvements to create a freight corridor between Interstate 5 and Highway 99. It would do so by using Roth Road from I-5 to Airport Way, then Airport Way to French Camp Road, then French Camp Road to Highway 99.

Such a route — assuming an interior road in the CenterPoint Business Park currently anchored by Amazon, 5.11 Tactical and Penske/Lowe’s Home Improvement is built — would handle all truck traffic from current and future distribution centers in Manteca along Airport Way north of Del Webb.

More importantly it would address movements to and from the 900-pound gorilla when it comes to truck traffic in both Manteca and Lathrop — the Union Pacific Railroad intermodal facility in San Joaquin County jurisdiction off of Roth Road that is wedged in a no-man’s land between the two cities.

Currently the UP intermodal facility can “lift” — remove and place truck trailers on specially designed railroad flat cars — on some 270,000 container a year. At its county approved build-out that number will reach 730,000 lifts.

 The average daily truck trips to and from the UP facility would go from 954 today to 2,186 at complete build-out. It would mean the average number of trucks per hour leaving or departing the intermodal facility would go from 39.75 every hour to 91. Weekend traffic is 5 to 10 percent of work day traffic. Monday would be the heaviest day for truck movement at build-out with 2,585 trips compared to 1,056 in the most recent count.

Such a truck route could take a truck route for the Airport Way corridor off the table or potentially reduce it to segments instead. That’s because there is apparently an offer in the works by a developer to buy the property and development rights for 760 homes of the Villa Ticino West project on the southwest corner of Louise Avenue and Airport Way.

The city’s current general plan update that is still being processed is calling for that land and the balance of the Villa Ticino West project  that included roughly 300 apartments and commercial along Louise Avenue to be converted to a business park with more than 3 million square feet of distribution center space. Given the land is already entitled for 1,060 housing units homes can legally be built there despite what the next general plan update says

If that happens, the need to send trucks down Airport Way to the 120 Bypass would be eliminated. However the city still needs a legal truck route for moving freight to and from Medline and the Amazon Prime on Louise Avenue and any industrial development the city may allow on West Yosemite Avenue west of Airport Way.

The only way to avoid Airport Way is for the trucks to be sent to the McKinley Avenue interchange at the 120 Bypass that Manteca continues to move closer to completion. Most of McKinley Avenue to make that work, however, is within the city limits of Lathrop.

It is not out of the realm of possibility given the stretches of Yosemite and Louise to reach McKinley in Lathrop as well as McKinley south to Yosemite in Lathrop have existing industrial uses and is in position to develop more.

It would require Manteca negotiating with Lathrop and likely agreeing to foot part of the cost for truck route improvements, however, for that to occur.

It would be similar to efforts SJCOG is pursuing on the Roth Road Corridor Study. The overall study pegged at $300,000 will be a cooperative effort that includes Manteca, Lathrop, San Joaquin County and SJCOG. Each agency would be required to contribute $75,000 each to the cost

The study will then identify improvements needed and the pro-rated share each jurisdiction would pay based on current and future industrial and business park uses.

The trucking issues in northwest Manteca are somewhat different than what is plaguing much of the rest of the city although there is some over lap.

The illegal truck parking problem consists of independent and contract drivers who typically have their own truck cabs and may also have their own trailers or pull those of a firm they are hauling for.

They are not tied to distribution centers in Manteca nor are they parked there because of a need to take a break from driving under federal law. They are basically people that live in Manteca — or nearby — who have their own rigs and need a place to park them when they go home after work.

Instead of using commercial lots they opt to save money and park on Manteca’s city streets.

That said a number of the trailers moved in and out of the UP intermodal facility are done so by independents.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email