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Manteca filling in Atherton gap
Work starting soon on Main to Paseo section
Atherton Drive will be extended east from the current T-intersection with South Main Street. - photo by HIME ROMERO
One of the two missing gaps on Atherton Drive will break ground this fall.

The segment going forward runs from Main Street east to the edge of the Paseo Apartments complex that is roughly an eighth of a mile west of Wellington Avenue. The $2.9 million project will include four travel lanes and a median as well as curbs and gutters plus sidewalk on the south side. The separated bike path segment o the north side will be built as the adjoining land develops.

Manteca this week finally received clearance from the state that the alignment has neither significant cultural items nor historical landmarks. Given that construction specifications have been completed for awhile, Manteca will be able to go to bid within the next few weeks to allow work to start this fall.

Originally the city had secured $900,000 in federal stimulus funds known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Due to a backlog of projects trying to get environmental clearance from the state to move forward, the city was unable to meet the federal deadline for getting the project started so they had to forfeit the money.

When the council meets Friday at 5 p.m. for a special meeting to call for bids for the Moffat Boulevard paving project, they will be advancing a newer version of that project that will cost the city about $1.5 million to save $500,000. That $500,000 will go with money Manteca had collected over the years from growth to pay for bridging the Atherton Drive gap.

Originally the plan called for Moffat Boulevard to be completely rebuilt from Austin Road to Main Street. Instead, the old concrete that once served as old Highway 99 will be grinded up and then the pavement resurfaced.

The second Atherton Drive gap between Union Road and Airport Way is being bogged down by land acquisition issues.

When it is completed, Atherton Drive – the first four-lane road south of Highway 120 Bypass – will go from Woodward Avenue near the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to a point west of Airport Way.

All of the land on the north side of the Atherton Drive alignment that abuts against the freeway from Airport Way to a point east of Main Street is targeted for commercial development.