By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Longer trucks coming to Lathrop Road?
Lathrop is moving to allow 53-foot tractor trailers to legally use Lathrop Road. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

In the end, there wasn’t much for the Lathrop City Council to discuss when it came to whether to award the contract for the Lathrop Road widening.
After hearing from the group of concerned residents that have mounted an opposition to the project out of fear that it will become an alternative route for truck traffic between I-5 and Highway 99, the council wasted no time Monday night in unanimously approving the bid that will overhaul Lathrop Road and two sections of Harlan Road that are among the worst sections of pavement in the city.
And its future for the same large trucks that the Adriana Lopez and her neighbors are fighting against will be something that they’ll address in the near future.
The core component of the opposition to the widening proposal, safety, centered around whether the city would approve Lathrop Road as a Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) route, which would allow 53-foot tractor trailers to use that section of roadway. That is longer than what is allowed on most California roads.
According to City Manager Steve Salvatore, an application to begin the process to designate Lathrop Road a STAA route has been submitted. The matter will come before the council for final approval if it is okayed by the State of California.
While much has been made about the widening aspect of the project, the configuration that was selected by Lathrop city staff to minimize the need to acquire property – cutting down the number of properties that would be affected from 16 originally to only three in the final formulation – the majority of the space needed to widen the road is already in place, requiring only repaving and a lane configuration change to make the project work.
Currently the westerly at-grade crossing is two-lanes in each direction, and once completed, those lanes will continue straight to I-5.
And as part of the council’s approval Monday night, a contract change order was also approved that will prevent the contractor from doing any work on Lopez’ property that she has been unwilling to sell to the City of Lathrop – the last of the three pieces the city sought to acquire. Whether the council will use eminent domain to acquire just over 300 square-feet from Lopez’ front yard to finalize the original configuration remains to be seen. The council has said that they will revisit the issue at a future meeting, although it has not been formally scheduled at this point.
In all, the council approved. $6,263,400 for both the Lathrop Road widening and the Harlan Road resurfacing with a 10 percent contingency included for both projects. They presented both together when soliciting bids, and Teicheirt Construction beat out the nearest competitor by more than $400,000.
According to the staff report, the widening of Lathrop Road will improve safety by reducing congestion along one of the most heavily traveled sections of roadway in the city. Curbs and gutters will be added to the north side of Lathrop Road to create a physical barrier between vehicles and pedestrians and prevent roadway flooding, and medians will separate the traffic. New street lighting and traffic control signals will also be installed as well as a railing beneath I-5 to create a barrier between traffic and the students who walk that route to get to Lathrop High School. Pedestrian signage will also be installed on both I-5 ramps coming off of the freeway at Lathrop Road.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.