RIPON — Three years ago Ripon embraced an idea of developing a bike trail to link it with Manteca.
The paved path – which would run west of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks – is envisioned to connect up with Manteca’s bike paths on Atherton Drive and connect with the Tidewater Bikeway via the Van Ryn Avenue bike path already in place.
Ultimately it would allow someone to bicycle from Stanislaus County using the Ripon bike path bridge across the river, follow surface street bike lanes in Ripon and get to neighborhoods north of Lathrop Road including Del Webb at Woodbridge. It also would access employment centers being developed in the 1,050-acre Austin Road Business Park and shopping along the 120 Bypass.
In 2008, the Ripon City Council suggested that staff look into the implementation of the bike path between Ripon and Manteca that was part of a 100-foot-wide greenbelt. One proposal was to have greenbelt developed as an almond orchard to effectively create a visual block of future development and to give Highway 99 motorists a sense of space separating Ripon and Manteca where they ultimately will be built up against each other.
The council-approved plan was to be included as the Regional Transportation Project for the San Joaquin One Voice trip of a year ago. One Voice brings elected officials as well as public and private sector leaders together to lobby the federal government for funds. So far the effort has brought in almost $60 million countywide over 10 years.
The project wasn’t selected for funding last year, according to Kevin Werner of the City of Ripon’s engineering department.
At tonight’s council session, he hopes to re-submit the project for the One Voice 2012 trip, pending approval from elected leaders.
One Voice has been part the San Joaquin Council of Governments – the regional metropolitan planning organization – since 2000.
This plan would call for a regional connection between Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon and Stanislaus County, consisting of over 10 miles of Class 1 bikeway between these communities.
The One Voice Regional Transportation Project, under the proposal, would include a funding request to purchase right-of-way for three miles of Class 1 bikeway, with the estimated cost at $2.5 million.
Another project not selected during the previous One Voice trip was that of the construction of a pipeline to allow a future connection of the City of Ripon water system to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District Nick DeGroot Water Treatment Plant.
Pending council approval, the plan could be re-submitted under Local Priority Project for the One Voice 2012 trip.
The hope would be to pave the way for funding to construct five miles of pipeline – the alignment, according to the plan, would begin near the “five corners” area of Jack Tone Road and extend south to the intersection of River Road and Jack Tone Road – at an estimated cost of $3.5 million.
Other agenda items include:
• A presentation by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors regarding water from the Delta.
• Ripon Unified’s request to continue using the City Council Chambers on regularly scheduled bases to conduct school board meetings. The district will also request that no fees be charged on use of the facility.
• Council will consider a new use for the old museum building at Stouffer Park.
For more information, contact Ripon City Hall, 259 N. Wilma Ave., at 209-599-2108 or log on to www.cityofripon.org.