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Signals at Spartan Way & Golden Valley Pkwy nearing completion
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Students walking going to and from Lathrop High School will soon have a safer passage.

Earlier this month the Lathrop City Council received an update on the ongoing project to install traffic signals at the intersection of Spartan Way – where Lathrop Road becomes west of I-5 – and Golden Valley Parkway that has been in the works for years.

The construction contract to finally complete the work was awarded in May of last year. The project is expected to be completed by the middle of next month.

According to the presentation that was made to the council the project has been in the works since late 2016 and construction finally began in June of last year – with site work being undertaken in October and the poles and fixtures arriving for installation in late November.

Construction challenges stemming from a relocated PG&E control panel, foundation changes due to a fluctuating water table, and material lead times all played a role in the completion timeline, and modifications had to be made so that the poles and fixtures could support the license plate readers and vehicle detection equipment approved by the council to help aid law enforcement in ensuring ongoing public safety.

Once the signal is operational it will be interconnected with other signals in the area to improve overall traffic flow, and pedestrians will finally have protection walking across the wide section of Spartan Way and Golden Valley Parkway to and from Lathrop High School.

And student safety was a major focal point in the drive to complete the project.

When the Manteca Unified School District essentially eliminated bussing to the rural campus – which opened long before any of the new residential construction in the area was completed – students in Historic Lathrop had to walk not only under the freeway but across the wide intersection. The lack of bussing also provided more vehicle traffic which became a concern to not only the city but law enforcement as well after responding to several accidents over the years involving bicyclists in the area – none of which turned out to be serious.

In order to cover the cost of installing the signals and the infrastructure necessary to support them the city reached an agreement with the residential developer in the area to split the cost of construction, and that cost was further reduced when the city received federal funding to complete the work.

The new signal is expected to supplement the lighted crosswalk just west of the intersection near the Lathrop Generations Center that was installed with many of the same pedestrian safety issues in mind.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.