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Work starting on Manteca’s worst stretch of pavement
lathrop road work
Part of the segment of Lathrop Road being replaced

The 2,500 feet of Lathrop Road east of Airport Way is literally the pits with missing chunks of pavement, washboard asphalt, and plenty of cracks.

It is so bad that pavement engineers gave it the dubious honor of being the worst segment of pavement for an arterial or collector street in Manteca.

By September Lathrop Road between Airport Way and a point 200 feet east of London Avenue should be the smoothest and best paved section of roadway in Manteca.

Work starts on Monday, May 18, to prepare for the reconstruction of the road. It will literally be torn-up and replaced.

Redoing Lathrop wasn’t even being considered 18 months ago.

Much of the funding for the Lathrop Road work is coming from the council’s decision to shift money from slurry work to extend the life of neighborhood streets. It means slurry seal work promised for Del Webb at Woodbridge nearly two years ago is being postponed.

 The current City Council has made tackling the worst major streets in Manteca a priority. They gave staff leeway to re-think street projects to find more efficiencies and free up money — such as how Airport Way will be widened between Daniels Street and Yosemite Avenue — as well as to shift partial funding for road projects they deemed less of a priority.

The council is responding to pressure from Manteca residents to address deteriorating city streets.

City still has $39.7M of

pressing street needs

that aren’t funded

Staff has identified $39.7 million in projects needed to bring streets up to par. That includes $17.8 million for the 10 worst segments of streets including the $1 million plus now being spent on Lathrop Road.

The identified street needs involve pavement conditions that are so bad they require removal of asphalt and reconstruction, full depth reclamation going down to the base, or 2-inch overlays with dig outs but little or no available money to do the work.

The city is hamstrung by money. Between gas tax and Measure K sales tax receipts the city has around $2 million to spend on street maintenance on an annual basis. Almost all of that has been poured into neighborhood streets.

The pandemic that has triggered a major drop off in driving has delivered a double whammy. Not only have miles driven dropped off an estimated 40 to 60 percent statewide reducing gas sales and slashing gas tax revenues that help fund local road projects in addition to state highways, but the price of gas has dropped by almost a dollar and cutting sales tax collected on gas as well. That will reduce general fund money that will put a further dent in the city’s ability to tackle projects including street work.

There are state and federal grants available from time-to-time that Manteca can apply for work on major streets that meet specific conditions. Such grants are how the bulk of the $4.9 million to do the recently completed Main Street and Yosemite Avenue work was obtained. The problem is the grants are not a sure thing plus thousands of cities are competing for the money. Those funds are expected to dry up as a result of massive federal and state deficits the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to create.

 If the Manteca council were to take all of the money it has been receiving every year for road work and apply to the 30 worst sections of streets in Manteca, it would siphon all such funds and then more for the next 20 plus years providing there is absolutely no inflation.


Lathrop Road — along with Airport Way, Woodward Avenue, and Austin Road — were all built originally as county roads and were not built for heavy traffic or extensive use by trucks. As a result the roads that are now city arterials are in the worst shape of all streets in Manteca.

The most pressing

need for street work

The top 10 streets for removal and reconstruction costing $17.8 million plus in descending order are as follows:

*1. Lathrop from Airport Way to east of London Avenue

*2. Main Street from south of Atherton Drive to north of Woodward Avenue

*3. Yosemite Avenue from the city limits at the railroad tracks to east of Airport Way.

*4. Woodward Avenue from Atherton Drive to the railroads tracks.

*5. Airport Way from Lathrop Road to the railroad tracks

*6. Airport Way from Louise Avenue to Yosemite Avenue

*7. Austin Road from Yosemite Avenue to north of Highway 99

*8. Woodward Avenue from South Main Street to Van Ryn Avenue

*9. Austin Road from north of Sandra Street to south of Jeane Road

*10, Airport Way from Atherton Drive to south of the 120 Bypass

The top 13 streets that require full depth reclamation costing $21.5 million plus in descending order are:

*1. Springtime Estates streets

*2. Mayors Park streets

*3 Shasta Park streets

*4. Industrial Park Drive streets

*5. Franciscan Village streets

*6. Union West streets

*7. Cedar Glen streets

*8. New Horizons streets

*9. Greenview Estates streets

*10.  Spring Meadows streets

*11. Magna Terra Estates streets

*12. Hildebrand Addition streets

*13. Sherwood Forest streets

The top 7 streets that require 2 inch overlays with dig outs costing $1.3 million plus in descending order are:

*1. Swanson Road from Yosemite Avenue to the end of the street

*2. Zinfandel Lane from Chenin Blanc Drive to the end of the street

*3. Northgate Drive from Airport Way to Bolton Lane

*4. Norman Drive from Hutchings Street to Dyer Avenue

*5. Trinity Street end to end

*6. Tidewater Bike Path from Lathrop Road to Industrial Park Drive

*7. Mission Ridge Drive from Grouse Way to Partridge Lane


 To contact Dennis Wyatt, email