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Traffic signal will make walking to Lathrop High safer
signal closeup

Students walking to Lathrop High School from places like Woodfield Estates and Historic Lathrop will soon be safer during their trek.

The Lathrop City Council has approved spending $659,445 to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Spartan Way and Golden Valley Parkway – a heavily-traveled route for students walking or biking to the high school and parents that take their children to school by car.

The majority of the signal – $400,000 – will be paid for by a congestion mitigation and air quality grant, and the developer of the residential property around the high school, Saybrook LLC, will contribute $180,000 to the overall cost. Lathrop will be on the hook for the remaining $45,000 for the signal, which has already been designed, which is scheduled to come out of the city’s portion of gas tax proceeds.

The bid for the project – the lowest of which came in at $599,495 – was awarded the Mike Brown Electric Co. A 10 percent contingency of $59,950 will be available if it is needed and will be returned to the city if it not utilized in the cost of construction – potentially bringing the city’s contribution to the signalized intersection down to zero.

The installation of the traffic signal will modernize the main entrance to the area of town known as Central Lathrop – which includes Lathrop High School, the Lathrop Generations Center, and the Stanford Crossing housing development named after railroad tycoon Leland Stanford, who named the city of Lathrop after his wife’s family.

The installation of the traffic light will also include a slurry seal treatment for the roadway and the necessary restriping to make the intersection safer for both pedestrians and motorists – eliminating any lane confusion and covering up any of the cuts that are being made to implant traffic-detecting sensors.

The intersection will eventually serve more than 7,000 residential units and more than 5 million square feet of commercial and retail space when the wider Central Lathrop area is completely built out.

The current intersection, a four-way stop, has been operating at an unacceptable “level of service” during peak traffic conditions since 2016 – something that the signal will alleviate and help move traffic through in a more stable pattern and prevent backups that could potentially impact the offramp from I-5 for traffic headed west off of the Louise Avenue exit.

Because of the proximity of the signal to the interstate, Caltrans was consulted signed off the proposal back in 2018.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.