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In the News
Long-awaited I-5 construction finally completed
December 15, 2016: Packed together under canopies at the Quail Lakes Shopping Center that needed to be held down to keep from blowing over in the blustery winds of Thursday's storm, the San Joaquin Council of Governments and Caltrans celebrated the completion of the Interstate 5 corridor improvement project. Read More

Highway 4 extension to open soon
December 9, 2016: Representatives from San Joaquin County and Caltrans expect a freeway ramp extension to the Port of Stockton will be open to motorists by the end of the year. Caltrans and the San Joaquin Council of Governments on Friday held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the Highway 4 Ramp Extension on the yet-to-be open roadway that extends the Crosstown Freeway west from Fresno Avenue to Navy Drive. Read More

Empty nest for SJ birders
November 18, 2016: In a way, it makes sense that hundreds of avid birders roost at the Stockton Hilton for a few days each November for the Central Valley Birding Symposium, now celebrating 20 years. Stockton sits smack in the middle of one of the best regions for birding. Read More

One highway completed, another closed this weekend
November 2, 2016: Warm weather and bright sunshine met San Joaquin County leaders celebrating the completion of one major highway project in Stockton on Wednesday. They celebrated the official widening of Highway 99 to six lanes from four between the Crosstown Freeway and Arch Road. It also features a new interchange and a park and ride facility. Read More

Developers pay $17,808 per acre to protect farming
October 17, 2016: The loss of farmland to build employment centers, retail and housing will cost developers $17,808 an acre. That comes to $3,561 for a 6,000-square-foot residential lot given the typical yield of five homes per ace once streets are taken into account. Read More

Fitzgerald:Highway 99 - the Valley's red asphalt
October 15, 2016: I was surprised to learn Highway 99 ranks as the deadliest major highway in the United States. Why, short version: Highway 99 is stuck in the Fifties. “It’s old. It’s tired,” said Andrew Chesley, the head of the San Joaquin Council of Governments. Read More

The carnage continues
October 5, 2016: Less than 20 hours after a seven-vehicle collision killed one person, seriously injured two and sent six others to the hospital with minor injuries just  east of the South Main Street interchange on the eastbound 120 Bypass, two more people suffered major injuries in another rear-end crash near the same exact spot. Read More

SJ's first carpool lane opens on I-5 through Stockton
September 21, 2016: Motorists driving north on Interstate 5 through Stockton will now be able to use new HOV lanes to help relieve congestion — as long as they’re carpooling. The California Department of Transportation and the San Joaquin Council of Governments on Wednesday celebrated the opening of four miles of the new northbound high-occupancy-vehicle lane, which travels from Charter Way/Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to March Lane. Read More

Tracking Future: ACE aims to serve 5M riders
September 16, 2016: If everything goes according to plan, more than 5 million people will be riding the Altamont Corridor Express trans within the next five years. On Monday representatives from ACE held an informational meeting at Manteca City Hall to discuss the options on the table for a massive extension and realignment project – costing $1.3 billion – that will allow for 10 round trips to San Jose every day from various parts of the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Read More

SJ County expeceted to reach 1 million people by 2040
July 25,. 2016: A recent study conducted by San Joaquin County Council of Governments and University of the Pacific finds that the county’s population could eclipse 1 million by 2040. Read More

Central Valley Communities Some of the Fastest Growing in the State
July 26, 2016: San Joaquin County’s population will reach the one million mark by 2039 according to a new study. Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Merced Counties are among the fastest growing in the state. Read More 

Lodi population anticipated to grow by more than 42,000 in coming decades
July 22, 2016: Lodi’s population is expected to increase by more than 42,000 residents by 2060, according to a forecast from the San Joaquin County Council of Governments. Read More

Transportation Commission to meet in Stockton
May 18, 2016: The San Joaquin Council of Governments is hosting the California Transportation Commission for its meeting Wednesday and Thursday. Read More

Design starts on solution for Bypass
May 7, 2016: The extra penny you pay every time you spend $2 on a taxable item in San Joaquin County is helping pay for a solution to ease the bottleneck at the Highway 120-99 interchange in a bid to slash the high volume of accidents plaguing the final eastern mile of the 120 Bypass.
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Leaders return with hope, knowledge
April 25, 2016:  Although delegates representing a variety of San Joaquin County governments and agencies did not return from the nation’s capital with commitments to transportation funding, their excursion was still a success, they said. Read More

Lodi mayor travels to D.C. to give S.J. County a voice
April 21, 2016: This week, Lodi vice mayor Doug Kuehne is in Washington, D.C. as a member of the San Joaquin Council of Governments’ (SJCOG) One Voice delegation. Read More

University of the Pacific Receives ECO Award
March 24, 2016: Commute Connection recognized the University of the Pacific with its first ECO Award for demonstrating excellence in commuter options. The school was honored for its efforts to foster an environment to promote sustainable transportation options at its worksite. Read More

The long I-5 fix spills into 2016
January 2, 2016: One thing to look forward to in 2016 --also to gripe about -- is completion of the Interstate 5 widening project. "Gripe" because the four-year fix was supposed to be done by mid-December. Read More

Caltrans to fund area transportation projects
October 23, 2015 - The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recommended 114 bicycle, pedestrian, and safe-routes-to-school projects and programs to be funded through the Active Transportation Program (ATP). Read More

North Valley: Building a regional identity
October 13, 2015 - Regional divisions based on politics and geography long have linked the eight California counties from San Joaquin to Kern as the San Joaquin Valley. Read More

SJ County reviewing land use around airport
September 11, 2015 - Two public events planned for Monday will focus on land use in a broad swath of San Joaquin County under Stockton Metropolitan Airport flight paths. Read More

SJ Council of Governments approves guidelines for future funding
August 28, 2015 - The San Joaquin Council of Governments on Thursday added its name to a growing list of coalition members that support a letter laying out guidelines for any new transportation legislation out of Sacramento. Read More

Penny Power
August 18, 2015 - It’s the penny that is collected on the purchase of every $2 worth of consumer goods in San Joaquin County that made it possible for the 10-mile widening of Highway 99 and replacement of two interchanges between Yosemite Avenue in Manteca and Arch Road in Stockton. Read More

Caltrans Completes Highway 99 Widening Project Through Manteca
July 15, 2015 - Traffic flowed smoothly during the morning commute Wednesday. It wasn’t bumper to bumper or even congested thanks to a newly completed Caltrans road widening project two years in the making. Read More

Highway 99 Widening 'In this case, everything went right'
July 15, 2015 - Drivers commuting south on Highway 99 into Manteca will enjoy 20 miles of new widened highway lanes, marking the near-completion of a seven-year project. Read More

99 project comes in $92M under budget
July 16, 2015 - Highway 99 is the backbone of the Central Valley. And on Wednesday, regional planners, elected officials and excited community members toasted the recently completed widening project and the renovated Lathrop Road interchange that will give Manteca another gateway to the community and enhance the route that serves as the main corridor for the San Joaquin Valley’s burgeoning agricultural economy. Read More

Caltrans completes Highway 99 widening through Manteca
July 15, 2015 - Highway 99 has expanded from four to six lanes in this area, a $158 million project celebrated with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday. Read More

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Airport receives $9.7M loan for expansion project
June 26, 2015 - A plan to expand and modernize Stockton Metropolitan Airport has been given the green light to move forward after all. Read More

Funding proposed for one downtown Stockton housing project
June 23, 2015 - The Anchor Village project was recommended by the state's Strategic Growth Council for a $5.857 million award of Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities funding. Read More

SJCOG backs asking state for project funds
May 29, 2015 - Two downtown housing projects, one providing affordable apartment units and the other serving low-income veterans and individuals with mental illness, await funding approval next month from the state. Read More

Will $2M landscaping survive?
Survival of trees, shrubs now Caltrans' concern
May 18, 2015 - It’s the $2 million question: Now that a three-year maintenance contract has expired for landscaping planted along the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 corridor will it survive the drought?
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Downtown Stockton housing groundbreaking
May 14, 2015 - The groundbreaking for a new downtown affordable-housing project was celebrated Thursday morning on the south side of Weber Avenue amid bare brick walls and the wooden skeletons of future apartment units. Read More

Bike to Work ride in Stockton
May 13, 2015 - Nearly 100 bicyclists participated in Wednesday's annual Bike To Work Day at Janet Leigh Plaza downtown, sponsored by the city of Stockton, Downtown Stockton Alliance and the San Joaquin Bike Coalition. Read More

Work set for streets around Sierra High and Woodward Park
May 8, 2015 - Measure K sales tax and gas tax receipts will cover the $2 million cost of pavement maintenance for 27 miles of city streets this year. Read More

Funding for road projects gets final OK
Mar 11, 2015 - A public-works project first discussed nearly a quarter-century ago may at last be completed in 2016 after the City Council unanimously approved final funding provisions at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. Read More

S.J.'s road maintenance bill: $1.25B over 10 years
It might not seem like it to anybody driving past the heavy machinery and construction sites along the major freeways in San Joaquin County, but there’s a lot of concern about a shortage of money to pay for the roads and bridges that keep the county rolling. Read More

Highway projects ease traffic, beautify region
A massive man-made hill of soil and the wooden frame of a future overpass greet drivers as they cruise past Highway 99’s Pelandale exit these days, the beginnings of a nearly $55 million interchange that is slated to be the biggest road construction project in Modesto’s history. Read More

Ripon seeks federal funds for train station
A bike path or train stop – which one of these two San Joaquin One Voice Regional Projects make sense for the City of Ripon? Read More

Louise: On Track for Widening
Railroad crossing going to four lanes in 2015
Road work on Louise Avenue may take a little longer than expected.  That’s because the city is close to setting a firm construction date with Union Pacific Railroad to 
eliminate a bottleneck by widening Louise Avenue to four lanes where it crosses the tracks between Airport Way and Union Road. Read More

1/2 cent key to ACE
Approval in Stanislaus County would bring Manteca, Ripon stops
Altamont Corridor Express trains could be stopping in downtown Manteca  as well as downtown Ripon within five years if Stanislaus County voters approve their own version of San Joaquin County’s half cent Measure K transportation sales tax during the next election cycle. See More

Highway 12 repaving among projects to receive funding
San Joaquin County will receive more than $7 million in roadwork on Highway 12 as the California Transportation Commission allocated more than $250 million for 41 transportation projects last week. See More

Lathrop Road bridge nears completion
Motorists could have a hassle-free trip down Lathrop Road by Christmas. Last week Lathrop Civil Engineer Michael King informed the city council that the bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks along Lathrop Road could be opened to traffic as soon as December if work continues to progress at the current rate. See More

Caution urged over shifting I-5 lanes
As a construction project on Interstate 5 through the city heads into a new phase Thursday morning, southbound drivers will be diverted across the median and into northbound lanes, separated from oncoming traffic by a concrete barrier. See More

Grants target specific Stockton upgrades
The ongoing saga of Fremont Park in downtown Stockton in turns has been a story of inner-city crime, urban rebirth, and strides toward redemption. Now, Fremont Park's ongoing renaissance is heading for another promising phase, and several other Stockton projects also will be getting funding boosts. See More

Stockton wins money for biking and pedestrian projects
Walkers and cyclists in Stockton received some great news last week as the state announced grants for several active transportation projects in the city. See More

More lanes to close tonight on I-5
Work continues on the Interstate 5/French Camp Road exchange, and lane closures are needed tonight and Tuesday, according to officials. See More 

Highway 4 ramps to close this weekend
Drivers heading south on Interstate 5 from the Crosstown Freeway will face detours and delays this weekend, and an off ramp to Charter Way from the southbound freeway is set to stay closed for a month. Read More

Ripon Honors the Hobbs
It was a red carpet event Thursday night when San Joaquin County Supervisor Ken Vogel officially installed five board members to new terms on the Ripon Chamber of Commerce board during a dinner at the Spring Creek Country Club. Read More

Lane, ramp closures on I-5 for road work

Overnight lane and ramp closures on Interstate 5 south of the Crosstown Freeway will continue into Friday morning for road work. The closures are needed as part of the reconstruction of the French Camp Road interchange, according a project spokeswoman. Read More

I-5 ramps open up ahead of schedule
Southbound ramps to and from a central Stockton connection to Interstate 5 opened up ahead of schedule over the weekend, allowing for another weeks-long closure that will have drivers rethinking how they navigate onto the region's major roadway. Read More

Worldwide flights in Stockton's future?
Funding boost could transform airport
A move by San Joaquin County's regional transportation authority to allow voter-approved Measure K funds to pay for improvements to Stockton Metropolitan Airport could bring closer the day that air travelers can fly directly from Stockton to Mexico or other international destinations. Read More

SJCOG approves "ambitious" transportation plan to reduce pollution and curb sprawl
On Thursday, the board charged with setting priorities for San Joaquin County’s transportation system took a modest step toward a more sustainable future by adopting a regional transportation plan that includes the county’s first Sustainable Community Strategy. Read More

Transportation plan takes a greener route
Officials this week approved an $11 billion transportation plan that reduces the amount of money pumped into traditional road expansions and invests more in mass transit, walking and bicycling. Read More

Officials to mark start of Crosstown Freeway extension
A groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday will mark the start of a $140 million project to extend the Crosstown Freeway from Fresno Avenue to Navy Drive across several blocks of the Boggs Tract neighborhood. Read More

ACE opens $65 M state-of-art facilty
Bryan Pennino likened the sparkling new Altamont Corrdior Express Maintenance Facility as an auto repair shop. “Only it’s bigger, much bigger,” he said at Saturday’s grand opening of the 121,000-square –foot building. Read More

County transportation planners want feedback on Sacramento commute

The San Joaquin County Council of Governments and its Sacramento counterpart want to know more about the commute habits of those who travel Interstate 5 and Highway 99. More than 12,000 north-south commuters a day use the two corridors. Read More

Open house today to discuss building Highway 4 to port
An open house to discuss the construction of the continuation of State Route 4 to the Port of Stockton will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today in the cafeteria of Washington Elementary School, 1735 W. Sonora Street. Read More

San Joaquin County growth plan to be discussed tonight
An ongoing discussion about how San Joaquin County grows in the future will continue tonight, as slow-growth advocates learn about the region's impending "sustainable community strategy." Read More

Info meeting set for Lathrop Road bridge
It has a long and fairly technical name, the Lathrop Road/Union Pacific Railroad Westerly Grade Separation. But the idea behind the work, which started back in October, is fairly simple – create a crossing over the heavily used and at times blocked railroad that create a chokepoint along a major growth route between Manteca and Lathrop. Read More

Freeway lanes to be closed Wednesday
One northbound lane on Interstate 5 and one on-ramp will be closed from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday to allow for reconstruction work on the I-5 French Camp Road interchange. Read More

Long-awaited connector between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 finally ready for business
Cars and trucks now have a straight shot between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 in south Stockton, a long-sought connecting road expected to boost industry in the area. Read More

Highway 12, Interstate 5 safer and smarter, Caltrans says
The California Department of Transportation announced this week that work is being completed on a $21 million project to create a “smart corridor” using Intelligent Transportation System technology on Highway 12 in Solano, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, as well as on Interstate 5 in San Joaquin County. Read More

Road fixes rolling along
Highway 12 trying to shed 'Blood Alley' rep
Though Highway 12 still sees the kinds of crashes that earned the roadway stretching west from Lodi the nickname "Blood Alley," one road project has finished and another has begun, officials said, to continue to improve the safety conditions of the roadway. Read More

High density saves prime farmland
Strategy would mean significantly less single family homes
The best shot at saving the most prime farmland from development over the next 27 years in San Joaquin County is the creation of high density clusters of jobs, services and housing.
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How should SJ County transit grow in future?
In less than 30 years, San Joaquin County will have more than 110,000 additional households.
So how do you accommodate all of those people?

If you’re the San Joaquin Council of Governments, you come up with a long-range transportation investment plan that will not only help plan for the residents of the future, but also help shape the way that transportation services are delivered to current residents. Read More

Balance communities key to future growth in S. J. County
The Sept. 1 opinion piece from John Beckman of the Building Industry Association, "Small, vocal group in S.J. seeks fewer single-family homes," misrepresents the growth in the San Joaquin Valley and how we can turn our region around after one of the worst economic recessions in our history.

We should be seeking lessons from this recession and asking ourselves, "Why was the San Joaquin Valley the No. 1 region for foreclosures in the nation?" The Valley is changing. We cannot continue to grow in the same fashion as we did before. Read More

Commute lot at Jack Tone & 99 costs $650K
The proposed Park and Ride lot along Highway 99 and Jack Tone Road will be 100-percent funded. The City of Ripon is eligible for $615,000 from the state Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program improvement grant. Another $35,000 would come from Measure K to handle the environmental design and construction management. Read More

Lathrop Road bridge over RR subject of talk
The upcoming construction of the Lathrop Road/Union Pacific Railroad Westerly Grade Separation is being discussed during a public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Read More

I-5 Project beset by repeated changes, missteps

When the state showers highway funds on Stockton, it's a glad day. Still, certain aspects of the $122.1 million Interstate 5 widening/maintenance project make you wonder. The maintenance, if not the widening, was long overdue. The roadway's corroded concrete panels had "rocked" or shifted out of place; rainwater seepage hastened corrosion. Read More

What does Stockton want? Walkable housing? How much of it do we want? Enough to satisfy market demand!
Last week, The Record’s Alex Breitler brought up a very important question on his blog. While participating in an SJCOG survey on the future of growth in the region (which you can access here), Breitler noticed that while a strong majority of participants felt that new development should be built “within existing cities,” an equally strong majority preferred to live in either a “rural ranchette” or a “conventional family home.” Naturally, this begs the question: If a majority of people prefer suburban style housing, should we bother with infill, such as apartments, condos or townhomes? Read More

Swain's strain on drivers will last a few more days
West Swain Road beneath Interstate 5 will officially reopen to traffic at 7 a.m. Monday, according to Caltrans. Read More

Freeway drivers in for another lane shift today
Many welcome reopening of Swain Road
Drivers on Interstate 5 in Stockton are going to have to keep their wits about them this week, as northbound traffic is diverted to the newly constructed median, part of a massive, ongoing project to widen and rebuild the region's major roadway.
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Airport Way: Six lanes ahead
1st phase adds left turn lane between Yosemite & Daniels
Airport Way six years ago was primarily a commuter route on Manteca’s western edge.
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Many say rail expansion projects present historic opportunities for Valley businesses
Over the next two decades rail improvements and construction are going to present one of the largest opportunities for area businesses. Read More

No trains in Lathrop Road's future

New Interchange & new bridge across tracks
Lathrop Road will become a quick way to get between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 when two major bridge projects are completed in the coming years. Read More

Hobbs may serve Ripon on SJCOG
She's driving force behind RHS field renovation
Stephanie Hobbs has been an active member in the community. For starters, she and her husband along with other volunteers made possible the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation.
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Swain set to reopen in July
Closure clogs roads, and work 5 months behind
Just a few more weeks - seven or eight, to be exact, sort of - before Swain Road underneath Interstate 5 will be opened again to vehicles, relieving a traffic nightmare for area residents and businesses. Read More

Crosstown Freeway extension closer
New road should take trucks out of Boggs Tract
The Crosstown Freeway divides and towers over downtown Stockton as it spans east to west from Highway 99 to Interstate 5.  With the release of $96.8 million from the state, the long-awaited project can go out to bid, putting the extension on track for a 2017 completion that would take big rigs out of the residential neighborhood and improve the movement of goods into and out of the port. Read More

Growth planners to get healthy dose of input from fitness advocates

The numbers tell the story. Three out of 10 San Joaquin County residents are obese. Two out of 10 have asthma. And roughly one out of 10 has diabe­tes. All three statistics place San Joaquin among the most at-risk counties in the state when it comes to public health. Read More

County transit a trendsetter
Lest there be any doubt what powers the latest addition to Stockton's bus fleet, the word "Electric" is emblazoned on the sides of the new vehicles, along with curved stripes, crackling with color. Read More

Hobbs makes pitch for federal funds for stadium project
Stephanie Hobbs spent last week lobbying in Washington, D.C., trying to secure federal funds to help with the Ripon High athletic field’s $2.8 million renovation. Read More

County aims to steer clear of overpromising
Measure K road plan in for readjustment
The new bridges, traffic delays and widening roadways sprouting on San Joaquin County's major roadways right now have been partially funded by Measure K, the half-cent sales tax approved by county voters. Read More

Groundbreaking held for "Maintstreet" of California
Highway 99 will get new interchanges, lose others
Work is expected to start as soon as next week to widen Highway 99 through south Stockton, a $214 million project intended to relieve traffic congestion and create a safer and more modern roadway. Read More

S.J. Transportation Plan
Update factors in new laws for climate change
The impact of the state's climate change laws can be seen in a long-term transportation plan developing in San Joaquin County, which will exhibit a stronger-than-ever link to planned housing and other land use expectations. The Regional Transportation Plan includes policies, programs and specific projects needed in the county. It's updated every three years, but the latest iteration for the first time will include a "sustainable communities strategy." Read More

Path of Progress
Stockton homes leveled for Highway 4 Extension
Homes are demolished on Hazelton Avenue in Boggs Tract on Tuesday to make way for an extension of the Crosstown Freeway. Some residents are grateful, while two business owners have vowed to fight it. Read More

Bus riders speak up on unmet needs
Bus riders in San Joaquin County can't always get to the places they need to go. They need more and wider coverage in Stockton on weekends, later service hours in Manteca and connection to the satellite community college campus in Mountain House. Those were some of the findings when regional transportation officials looked at "unmet transit needs" in the county a year ago. Read More