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Moffat transformation continues
Transit station, new paving next on list
Teens hang around two of the billboards along Moffat Boulevard on Wednesday. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Moffat Boulevard’s glory days aren’t behind it.

The southern leg of the old Highway 99 route through Manteca that joined Main Street and headed north until the freeway opened in the mid-1950s was once lined with mom and pop highway-oriented businesses as well as job generating concerns such as the old Moffat Feed Lot on the back side of Spreckels Sugar.

It slowly went into disrepair after the freeway opened until more than a decade ago when the city started initial improvements on the corridor that is now viewed as having the potential of emerging as a key connector between downtown, Spreckels Park and the envisioned 1,080-acre Austin Road Business Park.

Among the improvements to date:

•The mile-long leg of the Tidewater Bikeway that parallels Moffat Boulevard.

•The opening of the Industrial Park Drive extension to Moffat Boulevard that improved traffic circulation in the central district.

•The installation of missing segments of sidewalk, curb and gutters as well as upgraded storm drainage.

•The elimination of illegal dumping and overnight truck parking that was replaced with a storm retention basin that doubles as a park.

•The opening of the Spreckels Recreation Park BMX track.

•The installation of bigger pipes to improve water pressure.

•The planting of more than 200 trees along the Tidewater.

In the coming 12 months the city plans to:

•invest $6.6 million using various grant and transit funds to build a transit station with a 100-space parking lot along Moffat Boulevard at South Main Street.

•resurface the length of Moffat Boulevard including taking out sections of concrete that were asphalted over and have started buckling.

•create a second storm retention basin near Powers Avenue and Moffat.

A private venture to build a small business park between the Tidewater and Moffat near Garfield Avenue were put on hold when the economy took a dive. So was a plan for Oak Valley Community Bank to build a multi-story office building off Moffat Boulevard overlooking the Highway 120 Bypass and Highway 99.

Upgrading the corridor in terms of eliminating eyesores and putting in missing segments of sidewalks and gutter is part of a long-term strategy to encourage private sector investment. By improving infrastructure including storm drains, the city believes it will set the stage for investment as the economy picks up.