The City of Modesto - with Caltrans, Stanislaus County, and StanCOG - joined in an effort to increase traffic capacity and improve safety on a route that experiences significant impediments to both with the State Route 132 project. Today marks the ground breaking ceremony for the project, which is over 60-years in the making.
This project, the largest transportation project managed by the City, was designed under a very difficult schedule due to the number of large federal grants awarded—over $30 million. The city is responsible for the design and construction of four (4) miles of new road northwest of downtown Modesto, which is expected to alleviate traffic congestion on the State Route 99 and the existing State Route 132/Maze Blvd. This will ultimately offer safer routes for our goods to and from market, as well as those that commute to the bay area.
The existing State Route 132/Maze Blvd is infamously called “blood alley” due to its dangerous two-lane expressway with no median barrier to divide the lanes. The route passes through residential, commercial and agricultural areas with posted speeds ranging between 25 mph and 50 mph. Here, vehicles are more likely to be involved in a head on collision. With the creation of the new State Route 132 access-controlled roadway, vehicles going the same direction will be completely separated from those going the opposite direction. Furthermore, the addition of an extra lane going both directions provides more capacity of the roadway system allowing for traffic to move faster and safer.
The project will be constructed in three phases. The first phase will provide two lanes, divided by a center median, from SR-99 to Dakota Road. The second phase will provide a four-lane freeway/expressway to Dakota Road. The third phase will expand the highway to Gates Road.
In 1956, the California Highway Commission approved the realignment of State Route 132 West and purchased almost all the land required to build it between Highway 99 and Gates Road.
Identified by the StanCOG Policy Board as the region’s top priority project, the City of Modesto assumed responsibility for the design and construction of first phase of the SR-132 project. Once the highway is constructed it is then handed over to the state.
In the process of constructing this new highway we aim to be as transparent as possible. I would like to invite residents who have questions on the project planning to contact our office or visit our website to find the latest updates. The City of Modesto strives to maintain our focus on safety, and in doing so we believe this project will aid the lives of many by preventing vehicle accidents, pedestrian fatalities, and implementing overall traffic safety and efficiency.
There are so many people and groups who have been critical to this project, but allow me to at least call out our own staff, Vickey Dion and John Rawles of Community & Economic Development, who have led and worked faithfully on behalf of the City. Thank you all for your hard work on this incredibly important project!