No sooner had the previous owners and tenants of three homes the City of Manteca acquired for the footprint of the McKinley Avenue and 120 Bypass interchange moved out, the homeless moved in.
Manteca officials responded to complaints from neighbors about the trespassing on city-owned property by dispatching police and sending crews to board up the homes in accordance to municipal law.
In July, City Manager Tim Ogden vowed that the city would move as quickly as possible to demolish the structures committing to a September date to get the ball rolling.
A glitch, however, developed when the extent of asbestos involved pushed the bids received beyond the amount the council had empowered the city manager to spend.
On Tuesday the council is being asked to award the demolition contract to Jim Thorpe Inc. for $139,892 as the lowest responsible bidder. The firm will remove not just the homes but also water wells, septic tanks, vegetation, trees, concrete pads, and any other type of structures.
Neighbors are hopeful the demolition of the boarded up homes will stop people from illegally dumping trash on the city owned property.
Work is expected to start in October.
As city efforts go, the demolition project has been fast-tracked given the hoops such an endeavor has to go through.
Not only does that underscore a promise by the city to be more pro-active in reducing homeless problems, but it also re-enforces the high priority Manteca officials have made to snag a major waterpark resort hotel and conference center. The $21 million McKinley Avenue interchange needs to go forward under an agreement with Caltrans in order for a developer to build a hotel larger than 500 homes and a conference center larger than 30,000 square feet on 67 acres owned by the city west of Costco. It is also needed before additional development can take place in the city’s proposed family entertainment zone (FEZ).
Kalahari Resorts, one of the contenders for the water park has been building hotels as large as 977 rooms with 230,000-square-foot conference centers, and 220,000-square-foot indoor water parks. Great Wolf is back in the hunt is also looking at a larger hotel footprint than 500 rooms.
The city has committed $15 million — with more than half of it spent already on buried infrastructure — primarily from redevelopment bond proceeds to make the overall 210-acre FEZ that includes a resort hotel work.
The McKinley interchange project has leap frogged ahead of the Union Road interchange upgrade two miles to the east along the 120 Bypass based on how the city has put a large chunk of the money for the new interchange in place.
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The new interchange will become Manteca’s fourth interchange on the 120 Bypass. Interior loop onramps to be built at a later date.
That means the initial construction would have all left turns from McKinley Avenue to 120 Bypass onramps go through signalized intersections just as they currently do at the Airport, Union, and Main interchanges. When the loops are completed northbound McKinley Avenue traffic will be able to get onto westbound 120 without going through a traffic signal as would southbound McKinley to eastbound 120.
A full cloverleaf interchange — which is not being proposed — eliminates the need for any traffic signals.
The project will include a separated bike path that eventually will connect with the Atherton Drive bike path to provide access to Big League Dreams and the envisioned family entertainment zone.
Ultimately it will be a link in a separated bicycle pathway that loops the city going along McKinley Avenue north to connect with a path that cuts behind Del Webb at Woodbridge that crosses Union Road and ties into the Tidewater Bikeway. The Tidewater then heads south and ties in with the Atherton Drive Bikeway via Industrial Park Drive and Van Ryn Avenue.
Manteca would like to start work on the interchange by 2018 with completion by 2020.
The interchange is critical to head of household jobs. Most of those jobs, though, won’t be coming from the much touted, high-profile FEZ with a destination resort hotel site with an indoor waterpark and conference center although that endeavor may ultimately generate over 1,500 jobs including 570 jobs at the envisioned resort hotel.
Instead they will be provided by over 5 million square feet of building space in the Lathrop Gateway Business Park that will straddle McKinley Avenue on 384 acres west of the resort hotel and family entertainment zone.
The majority of the 165 acres of limited industrial uses and most of the 83 acres of service commercial space will depend on the creation of an interchange at McKinley Avenue. The project’s 57 acres of commercial office and accompanying freeway commercial is clustered around the Yosemite Avenue interchange north of the 120 Bypass.
The McKinley interchange is critical for the Lathrop Gateway Business Park.
It is bordered on the south by the Union Pacific tracks that carries Altamont Corridor Express trains and serves as the city limit line between Lathrop and Manteca. The northern border is Yosemite Avenue/Vierra Road with the Union Pacific tracks that swing by Simplot serving as the western boundary.
The McKinley Avenue interchange is also part of the long-range circulation plan for Manteca south of the 120 Bypass where more than 60 percent of the city’s population is expected to be by 2040.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com