Highway 120 Bypass motorists couldn’t exit at Union Road in 1993.
It was simply a two-lane overcrossing with no onramps or off ramps. There was no City of Manteca south of the 120 Bypass just dairies, corn fields, almond orchards and country homes.
Fast forward 20 years. The Union Road interchange bridge deck is in the running to become the second freeway overcrossing in Manteca with four through lanes. The first will be the new Lathrop Road interchange on Highway 99. Caltrans is targeting a 2014 start date for that project being funded with Proposition 1B state bond and Measure K sales tax funds.
Manteca Public Works Director Mark Houghton noted staff is working on final plans for the Union Road interchange improvements. They will also include loop ramps allowing both eastbound and westbound traffic coming off the 120 Bypass to make right turns in both directions on Union Road. The work also will include left turn lanes on the bridge deck.
Manteca has $43.6 million in unspent RDA funds generated from long-term debt that is still available. The Union Road interchange was identified as one potential project when bond funds were secured.
The City Council is expected to decide in the coming months whether to use part of that money for the Union Road interchange. It cannot be spent without the blessing of both the local oversight board put in place to monitor the successor agency to the RDA as well as the state Department of Finance.