Those who travel Airport Way for commuting or head down it to shop at Costco on the weekend know that navigating the stretch between Daniels Street and Yosemite Avenue can be a challenge.
It is why the Manteca City Council on Tuesday is expected to hire Mark Thomas and Co. to provide design and environmental work to ultimately widen the stretch to six lanes complete with continuous left turn lane, bicycle lane, curbs gutters, sidewalks, drainage improvements and relocation of utilities.
For $533,667 the firm will provide conceptual plans, identify environmental impacts, initiate community outreach and complete the environmental review. Once the firm’s work is done, the ultimate budget for the project will be refined.
The city currently has $2.4 million set aside for the work. After the consultant is paid, that will leave $1.9 million. It is why the capital improvement plan for the next five years currently calls for only a left turn lane to be added with the two travel lanes replaced. That doesn’t mean when actual work starts, however, that it won’t include more travel lanes. Staff is well aware the ultimate project will require more than $1.9 million that will remain in the account.
The second phase would eat up much of the remaining set aside without an ounce of asphalt being applied. That’s because the city needs to complete right of way acquisition, relocate utilities including possibly high voltage PG&E lines on both sides of the road, and final designs made for construction.
The third phase is construction.
The construction actually would stretch to a point north of the Yosemite Avenue intersection.
You can get an idea of the ultimate width for Airport Way at least to the east by looking where the curb and sidewalk have been put in place on the commercial dev elopement on the southeast corner of Wawona Street and Airport Way where Manteca’s second Prime Shine Car Wash location is now under construction. If you look north from there that will give you an idea of the land the city will need to obtain between Wawona and Yosemite on the east side of airport Way to accommodate the ultimate project.
Airport Way between the 120 Bypass to Stockton Metro Airport has been identified in regional planning for San Joaquin County as a major roadway.
The city has also identified the need to upgrade the Airport Way interchange in the future and widening the overcrossing to four lanes.
That, however, is down the list a ways. The city is now moving forward with designs to improve the Union Road interchange on the 120 Bypass as well as creating an interchange at McKinley Avenue and the 120 Bypass.
Whether Airport Way is next depends upon whether the need is more pressing there or at Main Street. Based on how projects are moving forward and available funding it is doubtful work on either Airport or Main would be even within a five-year horizon at any time over the next decade.
The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com