One of the most problematic intersections on Airport Way could see upgrades “sooner than later” if the Manteca City Council allows Rotten Robbie’s to build a gas station and a 4,800-square-foot convenience store.
And the solution could possibly mean if the gas station is approved and opens two years from now it could do so with a traffic signal at Wawona Street and Airport Way.
Among the issues that currently exist include:
*The current configuration makes it difficult to turn left from Wawona onto Airport due to sight line issues.
*Heavy and fast moving traffic on Airport Way.
*A narrow roadway for Airport Way north of Wawona lacks adequate space for southbound vehicles waiting to turn left onto Wawona to avoid backing up traffic on Airport Way.
Rotten Robbie’s owner Tom Robinson indicated during a City Council hearing Tuesday on his appeal of the Planning Commission’s rejecting the project that he was willing to work with the city to devise solutions to address the points the commission based their denial upon.
Robinson said he would drop plans for a separate diesel fuel island designed to serve big rig trucks. That eliminates the concern the commission had about big trucks turning across heavily traveled Airport Way.
It also would eliminate a driveway close to the Wawona Street intersection that would be needed if large trucks needed to navigate through the gas station site to go to and from dedicated diesel pumps.
He also is willing to pay his fair share of whatever improvements are needed at Wawona and Airport.
Council members indicated the fact Rotten Robbie’s is willing to develop the parcel on the southeast corner of the intersection could accelerate upgrades that could include traffic signals.
The city could accomplish that by dipping into Public Facilities Improvement Plan road fees paid by growth and wedding it to whatever Rotten Robbie’s fair share of the costs would be.
To accomplish intersection upgrades, the city would have to obtain land on the northeast corner along both Wawona and Airport to widen the streets as well as place the traffic signals. At least two PG&E power poles would have to be relocated.
Staff will now work with Robinson to address intersection upgrade options. They will then bring whatever conditions they come up with for the gas station project back to the City Council at a future meeting for consideration.
The council heard input from those opposing building not just Rotten Robbie’s but any more gas stations in Manteca. They declined to comment on the request.
It was also noted the land where Rotten Robbie’s wants to build has been zoned commercial since the time it was annexed into the city in the 1970s at the same time adjoining land where homes were built about two decades ago.
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