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Tidewater Bike Path adding new segment
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The next segment of the Tidewater Bike Path is expected to be in place by spring.

It is part of the work being done in the Union Ranch neighborhood that includes a 7.37-acre park basin and 3.3 acres of linear parks including bike path improvements.

The Tidewater segment will run along the eastern boundary of the neighborhood just north of Lathrop Road. That will create a missing link between the southern edge of Union Ranch and where the bike path currently ends at the Tidewater plaza on the south side of Lathrop Road. Ultimately that link will be installed as well as traffic signals where the bike path will cross Lathrop Road.

The bike path when it was created in the 1990s with the purchase of the former Tidewater Southern Railroad right-of-way was to eventually connect Manteca with Ripon to the south and Stockton to the north.

The city plans to have future development pay for the bike path extension as it occurs.

Manteca also has adopted a route to create a loop encircling the city. That route includes the existing 3.4-mile Tidewater section now in place plus segments along Atherton Drive. Eventually the Atherton Drive portion will connect with a north-south route along the western edge of Manteca along the drainage ditch that runs to French Camp. An east-west northern connection is also planned north of Lathrop Road.

Plans for the Tidewater segment as well as the rest of the Union Ranch were approved by the Manteca City Council last week. Atherton Homes has agreed to oversee the construction of the park improvements. They include two playground areas - one for preschoolers and another for those 5 to 12 years of age. The playgrounds will flank a picnic area with a 35-foot octagon canopy. There will be tables under the shade structure as well as outside of it. Several barbecues will be put in place along with a basketball court, drinking fountains, decorative security lighting, benches, and trash receptacles. There will be no backstop.

The park maintenance will be paid for by neighborhood homeowners who are part of a landscape maintenance district. The first assessment for the district goes into effect in November.