Fifteen years ago you couldn’t access Union Road from the Highway 120 Bypass.
It was nothing more than a two-lane bridge across the state route with no on-ramps and no off-ramps.
In the mid-1990s, the upgrading of the 120 Bypass to full freeway status made it possible to get off and on at Union Road.
Still there was little reason to use the interchange. To the north there were just Manteca neighborhoods. To the south it was all farm country.
Now the City of Manteca in conjunction with Caltrans is getting ready to transform the interchange into the biggest on the 120 Bypass corridor complete with a bridge deck with four through lanes and two lanes in each direction turning left onto the freeway. There also are extended acceleration and deceleration lanes planned for the freeway.
The project is moving toward construction but first it has to get through the approval process. Caltrans is taking comments on its proposal to issue a negative environmental declaration on the project through Jan. 6.
The interchange is the first of a series of upgrades proposed with bypass interchanges including establishment of an actual interchange at McKinley Avenue. It was fast-tracked due to the opening of The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley anchored by the Bass Pro Shops that has drawn more than 2 million customers in a year’s time.
Once the Manteca Lifestyles Outlet Stores open as well as additional nearby shopping, the Union Road interchange is expected to be one of the heaviest in terms of traffic in Manteca.
The interchange is being paid for by a combination of redevelopment money as well as growth fees.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org