Manteca is getting ready to tear out grass at Woodward Park to put in 164 additional parking spaces.
Bids are now being sought for the project expected to cost $575,000. The parking lot - complete with lighting fixtures and internal landscaping - is being developed on the southeast corner of the park where Bridewell Avenue meets Heartland Drive. Park growth fees are paying for the work.
The location is on the edge of the fenced in fields. Original plans called for the city to build a small park maintenance yard at that location.
The parking lot is expected to take pressure off street parking during soccer tournaments and regular league play. Neighbors have complained during larger tournaments that cars are often parked across driveways, on corners, and in front of fire hydrants. Ticketing efforts by Manteca Police in the past have confirmed those problems.
The city also has abandoned plans to explore converting Woodward Avenue into two lanes and placing diagonal parking on both sides of the street from South Main Street to Bridewell. That would have added upwards of 200 additional parking spaces.
The city, though, will be moving forward in the coming months with crosswalk improvements on Woodward Avenue at Buena Vista Drive. That will happen once street projects that have a deadline to be completed or else the city loses funding are completed. One of those projects is the widening of Louise Avenue east of Cottage Avenue to enhance pedestrian safety. That work must be started by June 30 or Manteca loses close to $1 million in state funds.
Work is now underway on erecting a shade structure for Woodard Park’s picnic area.