Residents in one Bear Creek neighborhood will soon benefit from a new north-south road, thanks to a bridge that is nearing completion.

City of Stockton Planning Commission officials approved the 448-acre Cannery Park community in 2004, but the housing project and bridge hit delays due to the 2008-09 recession.

“When you have projects of this magnitude, bureaucracy supersedes the amount of time we want to see projects approved,” said Kimberly Warmsley, Stockton city council member for District 6.

The bridge will span the environmentally sensitive Bear Creek area, and hit some snags.

“The Army Corps of Engineers was declining the project, and we couldn’t understand why,” said Stockton City Council Member Dan Wright. “We spoke with them, and there were safety reasons” that were resolved.  

When completed, the project will extend Holman road to PFC Jesse Mizener Street, located north of the existing Holman Road, south to Eight Mile road.

Warmsley noted planning began for the Cannery Park community in 2007, and has been in the planning stages for more than 15 years. “A lot has changed,” said Warmsley. “The pandemic, the economy – inflation is real. This project has experienced these challenges.”

 In November of 2007, the council approved a public facilities fees reimbursement agreement with the developer, Vascorp Investments Corporation Inc., for an amount not to exceed $3.1 million. However, more recently, the developer received bids for constructing the Holman Road extension and bridge crossing improvements that “significantly exceed(ed) the… construction cost prepared in 2007,” according to a document prepared by the City of Stockton about the project.

The council adopted and approved a resolution recently to increase the reimbursement amount to the developer by $4.5 million.

The bridge is nearing completion by April, and will bring a host of improvements to the Cannery Park Community, said Wright.

“It’s going to take at least five minutes off of response times, (for emergency service vehicles), maybe more,” said Wright. 

While there is one fire station north of the Bear Creek community, “The problem is if we have more than a single alarm fire, how are they going to get there?” 

As it stands now, firefighters, police officers, and ambulances have to travel north on West Lane, turn around and travel down on Eight Mile Road.

“It’s going to create another north-south artery that will get people to businesses on Hammer (Lane), and serve Stockton residents.”

Warmsley also said she looks forward to the project’s completion. “I think this is one project that will improve infrastructure and connectivity to the community,” said Warmsley. “It will be good to see the project completed… so we can go off to the next community.”

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