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Manteca may pull plug on two project studies
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Don’t look for a wider bridge deck any time soon at the Airport Way and Highway 120 Bypass interchange.

Municipal staff is recommending the City Council Tuesday pull the plug on a Caltrans required project study report that is a precursor to construction that needs to take place within five years. Manteca leaders are now forecasting funding will not be available for the interchange work for at least 10 years.

Also on Tuesday, the council is being asked to terminate a contract as well for a project study report for the new Austin Road interchange on Highway 99.

The design being advanced by Quincy Engineering includes relocating Highway 99 to the east to create a six to eight lane bridge deck for a new Austin Road crossing within a mile south of the existing one. The overcrossing would have to span both the freeway and railroad tracks much like the Jack Tone Road interchange in Ripon.

That design has a cost of $150 million. Municipal staff has said makes it “clear that a different approach to a replacement for the existing deficient interchange is necessary.”

The interchange was located further south due to issues with the traffic weave from Highway 120 Bypass traffic merging into south bound Highway 99 so close to the Austin Road interchange. Caltrans can’t address the back-up problem during afternoon commuter on the 120 Bypass until dual transition lanes can be put in place.

Staff is proposing the City Council authorize issuing a new request for proposals to secure a consultant who has a demonstrated working relationship with Caltrans District 10 and Central Region staff, demonstrated success in identifying funding opportunities as well as success in obtaining funds, and can demonstrate “out-of-the-box” thinking in regards to the project.

Manteca is hoping a new consultant can identify immediate-term, short-term, mid-term, and long-term improvements as well as to identify real opportunities for phasing improvements.

Development agreement fees paid by builders were tapped for the $699,853.27 contract with Quincy Engineering. To date, $276,674.96 has been invoiced. After closing out the project, the final invoice will allow $400,000 to be returned to the fund.

Quincy Engineering is also the consultant for the Airport Way interchange work. To date, $300,629.22 has been invoiced. Terminating the contract will return $100,000 to the development agreement fund account.

The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.