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Ripon sees 99/120 project benefiting city
highway 99 traffic

The Ripon City Council agreed Tuesday to send one elected leader and an administrator to the upcoming San Joaquin One Voice Trip.

That’s the San Joaquin Council of Government’s federal advocacy program that promotes local projects, programs, and issues of regional significance to federal legislators and agencies typically via the annual trip to Washington D.C.

Councilman Daniel de Graaf – that’s based on his schedule – and City Administrator Kevin Werner would be the ones to attend the SJ One Voice Advocacy Trip 2024 on May 5 through May 9.

The City of Ripon does not have a project that meets the criteria identified by SJCOG for a project submittal, according to Werner in his report.

City officials, instead, will support SJCOG’s submittal of the regional project that impacts Ripon, specifically, State Route 99 / 120 Connector Project, Phase 1B.

Werner noted that the current Highway 99 / Highway 120 freeway to freeway interchange is subject to significant congestion, delays, and high accident rates.

The result of that are drivers taking alternative routes to avoid this interchange, including Ripon’s local streets – the roads were not designed for this increased volume of traffic.

The State Route 99 / 120 Connector Project, Phase 1B, calls for widening the connector from northbound 99 to westbound 120 by constructing a westbound auxiliary lane on Highway 120 between Highway 99 and Main Street in Manteca, in order to improve the interchange operations while keeping commuters on the state highway systems “rather than using local roads to avoid the interchange,” said Werner.

In recent years, the City of Ripon have attended the One Voice trip with the focus of funding for the South San Joaquin Irrigation District Surface Water Connection project and the Altamont Commuter Express Station – or the Multi-Modal Station – project on Industrial Avenue.

Both projects received some federal funding thanks to these efforts.

Phase 1A of the State Route 99 / 120 Project, which addresses eastbound Highway 120 and southbound Highway 99, will soon be entering the construction phase.

SJCOG will look to complete the design and right-of-way phases of Phase 1B during the Phase 1A construction period.