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Push for new Lathrop Road interchange
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In the last five years the City of Lathrop has spent millions on improving the traffic flow along the city’s namesake thoroughfare.
With the finishing touches now being placed on the Lathrop Road widening project – the new traffic signal at Cambridge Drive is expected to be up and running by the end of the week – and the at-grade crossings over the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks giving traffic a relatively unfettered pass between California’s two arterial highways, the Lathrop City Council could soon be setting its sights on the last piece of the puzzle.
A new interchange at Lathrop Road and I-5, which has long been a priority for the city, will be one of a handful of projects that Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal says the city will take back to Washington, D.C., as part of the San Joaquin Council of Government’s annual One Voice lobbying trip to try and secure federal transportation dollars for local and regional projects back home.
And all of the interchanges that allow access to the city could soon be part of the focus.
According to Dhaliwal, the city’s efforts for this upcoming trip will center on not just Lathrop Road where it intersects with I-5, but also Roth Road and Louise Avenue – both of which are set to become major access points to new development in the community in the coming years despite a relatively outdated design that doesn’t cater to the amount of traffic that is expected when projects are fully built out.
Roth Road, which historically was used to provide access to the Sharpe Army Depot and a handful of industrial buildings just outside of Lathrop’s city limits, has become a major destination for tractor-trailers with the construction of a Pilot/Flying J truck stop, and with the recent annexation to bring that former county area into Lathrop’s city limits, the once rural area is poised to become something more.
Even if the City of Lathrop manages to secure funding to allow for the overhaul of the I-5 freeway off-ramps – which would likely cost tens of millions of dollars – Dhaliwal said that the council has also identified a yet-to-be-constructed McKinley Avenue Interchange off of the Highway 120 Bypass as a long-term planning priority, as well as reconfiguration of the Yosemite Avenue exit near the intersection of the Highway 120 Bypass and I-5 — which will provide at least partial access to the South Lathrop Specific Plan area that will be home to a handful of light industrial warehouse buildings in excess of a million square feet each.
Dhaliwal said that he isn’t sure who will be representing Lathrop on the One Voice trip, but noted that the work that has been done on Lathrop Road – from Manteca’s investment into the Highway 99 interchange to Lathrop’s decision to widen Lathrop Road and remove points of congestion along the path – should put the city in a more favorable position with legislators that can see the route as a regional benefit.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.