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New Main Street taking shape
Atherton Drive designed to serve as citys key road
Looking east at Union Road from where Atherton Drive will be extended to connect with Airport Way. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Another piece of Atherton Drive - designed to serve as Manteca’s “main street” for the 21st century - is starting to go forward.

While construction crews are working to finish putting in the missing segment between South Main Street and Wellington Avenue by the end of fall, the City Council on Tuesday is expected to ink an agreement for the design and construction of Atherton Drive west of Union Road to Sparrowhawk Drive.

Motorists will be able to travel on the four-lane Atherton Drive between Airport Way and Woodward Avenue near Moffat Boulevard when both segments are completed. Atherton Drive is envisioned to be the “main street” for commerce as the 21st century unfolds.

Besides serving current and future retail and office along the southern flank of the 120 Bypass, it is planned as the main Manteca surface street connection to the 1,049-acre Austin Road Business Park that includes:

• 3.5 million square feet of general commercial or about 26 times the square footage of the Manteca Costco store.

• 2,358 traditional single family homes and 1,840 multi-family dwelling units such as townhouses, apartments, and condos.

• 8 million square feet of industrial/business park, and office use or space equal to 17 times the coverage area of the Ford Motor Parts distribution center on Spreckels Avenue.

• the overall potential creation of up to 13,000 permanent jobs.

A future extension of Atherton Drive south of where it now T-intersects into Woodward Avenue west of Moffat Boulevard will extend into Austin Road Business Park.

The extension west of The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley has funding set aside for the current fiscal year from growth-related fees. It will allow the development of the approved Union Crossings retail complex that will straddle the extension west of Union Road.

Bill Filios has gained city approval to develop the 48.5 acres of retail and restaurants on the southwest corner of the Highway 120 Bypass and Union Road interchange. It consists of three phases with 399,700 square feet of retail and 55,300 square feet of restaurant space.

Altogether, the 450,000 square feet is the equivalent of almost four Manteca Target stores in terms of retail space.

When the two segments now moving forward are finished, that will leave just two sections to complete. In the west, Atherton Drive would ultimately connect with a future alignment of McKinley Avenue as a T-intersection. The other segment is south of Woodward Avenue where it would eventually connect with roads in Ripon.

The City Council will consider awarding Bianchi Ranch Partners the $245,000 design and construction contract for 4,100 feet of Atherton Drive west of Union Road when they meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The meeting was moved up three hours to accommodate council members and city leaders visiting various National Night Out block parties around Manteca.