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Manteca may seek bids for alley paving
Downtown alleys will be repaved in the coming months with $187,382 in federal pass through Community Development Block Grant funds. - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin

Manteca’s unpaved residential alleys will cost at least $570,000 to improve.

The City Council on Tuesday has a consent calendar item designed to address the frustrations of residents with homes that back up to such alleys located in the older areas of central Manteca.

There are two options staff is proposing the council authorizing seeking bids on by Oct. 9.

One that would cost an estimated $580,000 would include initial site clean-up and provide only a 12-foot asphalt driving lane down the middle of the alley.

It is similar to what the city did in 2008 in the Powers Tract neighborhood sandwiched between Manteca High and Spreckels Business Park. It may not include the dropping off of gravel that the city did in Powers Tract where they distributed over the area between fence lines and the alley providing homeowners cleared the area of all weeds and debris.

The second bid option would clean the alleys, remove four inches of existing soil and replace it with four inches of compacted soil from fence to fence. It would for all practical purposes eliminate dust issues and make weed growth next to impossible. The estimate is $570,000.

And even if the city or homeowners add gravel on the first option, it won’t stop weed growth as verified by virtually every alley in Powers Tract. Seven years later a number of residents get weed abatement notices for the area between the pavement’s edge and the fence line.

It originally was estimated it would cost $240,000 to pave alleys in the Powers Tract in 2008 between Powers and Edward avenues, Edward and California avenues, California Avenue and Cowell Street, and Moffat Boulevard and Yolo Street.  It came in at around $180,000 thanks to keeping the work in-house.

The city has no money budgeted for residential neighborhood alley work. The council, if they decide to proceed would either need to take the money from another budgeted item or dip into reserves.

The city could tap Measure K, gas tax or local transportation funds to do the work.

In doing so, however, it would result in reduced funding for streets and road projects. Two years ago, the city commissioned Harris & Associates to conduct a survey of city streets to determine their condition.  The pavement experts warned the city would have to spend at least $37.5 million in work over the next few years to prevent conditions deteriorating to the point they would cost 30 times that amount to replace. The study isn’t gospel although it is based on actual situations, life expectancy, and normal wear and tear. To do nothing and let 180.4 miles of Manteca’s 219 municipal miles of streets deteriorate completely would cost $1 billion to replace

Measure K sales tax and gas tax receipts will cover the $2 million cost of pavement maintenance for 27 miles of city streets this fiscal year.