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Manteca going for four on Louise
City calling for bids to widening segment this summer
The view from the Highway 99 overcrossing showing the segment of Louise Avenue east of Cottage Avenue that is being widened this summer. - photo by HIME ROMERO

It’s been seven years since residents in east Manteca convinced city leaders Louise Avenue needs to be widened to four lanes and have sidewalks installed east of Cottage Avenue to improve safety.

The project is now ready to move forward.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is expected to call for bids for the $770,000 project that will eliminate a traffic tourniquet to make Louise Avenue wide enough to accommodate four lanes from the Highway 99 overcrossing to the city limits east of Pestana Avenue. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The call for bids is news that neighborhood residents have been waiting to hear since 2006 when the City Council at the time promised to make connecting sidewalk with two established neighborhoods to a small retail center on the north and to St. Mary’s Church on the south a priority.

The travel lanes along the segment being widened are narrow and the pavement has washboard like texture between filled in potholes. Pedestrians are forced to walk close to the 45 mph traffic due to a narrow, dirt shoulder. And when it rains, pedestrians often walk on the roadway to traverse the segment creating a safety hazard. The pavement is also too narrow to safely accommodate a bicyclist and vehicle heading in the same direction.

Manteca is taking advantage of $967,440 in statewide Proposition 1B bond money the city has been awarded. The state will take back the funds if work among the Louise Avenue corridor isn’t started before June 30. By going to bid now, the city will meet that deadline.

Bond money not needed to cover the cost of widening the targeted segment will be used to make pavement improvements elsewhere on Louise Avenue.