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Manteca pursues 4th Bypass interchange
City ready to enter design agreement with Caltrans
McKinley Avenue is proposed to become a full interchange on the 120 Bypass. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Manteca is betting that four of a kind along the 120 Bypass will give them a winning hand when it comes to positioning for economic growth.

Plans to build an interchange at McKinley Avenue and the 120 Bypass would give Manteca the equivalent of four aces in the hole as the city would end up with four interchanges that each would be a mile apart. That’s the minimum separation allowed by Caltrans design standards and the optimum to maximize access to prime freeway frontage commercial property.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a cooperative agreement with Caltrans regarding the preliminary engineering and environment documents for the proposed interchange.

The city is using $1.5 million in federal funds to do the initial work needed to move the interchange forward. The work is being performed by Rajappan & Meyer Consulting Engineers. Caltrans would provide independent quality assurance over the design work.

Adding a McKinley interchange would give Manteca over three miles of freeway frontage that is a big draw not just for commercial but for office-style operations that seek maximum exposure. Prior to the economic slowdown, developers - both Manteca-based and national concerns - were zeroing in on the 120 Bypass corridor as have the potential for prime office space to serve the Northern San Joaquin Valley. They toyed with the idea of six different buildings ranging from four to 10 stories to accommodate businesses that wanted regional and centrally located offices.

The 120 Bypass is within 15 minutes of Modesto, Stockton, and Tracy.

Four interchanges further enhance Manteca’s grid pattern traffic flow based on major streets being a mile apart both going east-west as well as north-south.

McKinley is ultimately envisioned by Manteca planners as curving eastward to connect with a new interchange south of Austin Road on Highway 99. The new interchange on Highway 99 would serve the proposed 1,050-acre Austin Road Business Park.

An exact alignment of McKinley heading south of Woodward Avenue has yet to be determined. Preliminary discussions would make it an expressway that would be two lanes in the west and six lanes when it crosses Highway 99.