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Tidewater irrigation project before council
A contract to install irrigation lines to accommodate the planting of 250 trees along the Moffat Boulevard leg of the Tidewater Bikeway is before the City Council on Tuesday night. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The bleakest stretch of the Tidewater Bikeway that doubles as a 34-acre linear park through Manteca’s heart may soon sport 250 trees.

The Manteca City Council is being asked Tuesday to award a contract to Amerine Systems of Oakdale to install an irrigation system along the Moffat leg of the bikeway for $34,325. It was the lowest of three bids submitted that were as high as $43,865.

The project is being made possible in part by a commitment by Crossroads Grace Community Church to mobilize a small army of volunteers as an extension of its community outreach effort dubbed 2nd Saturday.

The church volunteers in lieu of attending services on Sunday, Oct, 11, will gather along Moffat to plant the trees. The 2nd Saturday community outreach has harnessed hundreds of volunteers operating in separate groups over the past 18 months to perform volunteer service projects. One of them has been the clean-up of the Tidewater Bikeway in different segments each month. That is saving the city an estimated $8,000 annually.

The trees - many of which are expected to be redwoods – will provide a natural barrier between the tracks and the bikeway. They also will clean up the visual look of the Moffat Boulevard corridor. Tree planting will start 500 feet south of Main Street and extend all the way to Spreckels Avenue. The gap near Main Street is where the city plans to construct the transit station and parking lot.

The funds to pay for the irrigation work plus for the 250 trees will not impact the general fund that still has upwards of $3 million to cut in expenditures before it is balanced for the current fiscal year. Instead, the money will come from the pedestrian and bicyclist portion of Local Transportation Funds the city receives each year. The money must be spent on for specific purposes that are specified by the state. The city had no other pedestrian or bicyclist related project currently that could use the funds. If it isn’t spent in a certain amount of time, the state could take the money back.

The annual $5,000 maintenance tab will also come from the same restricted account. The church group has volunteered to help with some routine maintenance on the trees which may include just having people check on the trees periodically to make sure they are being watered adequately by the irrigation system and that there is no vandalism.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail