99 spill snarls com­mute traf­fic in Ripon, Man­teca

Ripon Bulletin - - Front Page - By GLENN KAHL

High tech de­vices de­signed to as­sist driv­ers around traf­fic snarls com­pounded the traf­fic mess cre­ated when a big rig truck spilled its load on north­bound Highway 99 just south of Ham­met Road af­ter 3 p.m. Mon­day.

Mo­torists try­ing to get from Modesto to San Joaquin County were fac­ing two hour de­lays as late as 6 p.m. with some try­ing to find a way around the back up. Com­pli­cat­ing their ef­fort was the fact the Highway 99 bridge is the only over­cross­ing of the Stanis­laus River for more than 10 miles to both the east and the west.

Ripon res­i­dents re­ported see­ing traf­fic backed up on neigh­bor­hood streets as GPS sys­tems sent those try­ing to get around the south­bound backup that had ex­tended onto the 120 By­pass in Man­teca on streets failed to get them where they wanted to go.

The traf­fic mess all started with a load of five-gal­lon buck­ets of wall­board paste that was dumped across the Highway 99 free­way lanes when a north­bound truck’s load shifted south of Ham­met Road lit­er­ally glu­ing up com­mute traf­fic.

The truck came to a rest on the right edge of the road with what ap­peared to have been a type of shrink wrap tape hold­ing the buck­ets in place that had been torn.

The buck­ets dumped the paste across the lanes which kept traf­fic at bay and mo­torists held to a min­i­mum de­lay of two hours to reach Man­teca. Rub­ber neck­ing at the ac­ci­dent scene just as the af­ter­noon com­mute got un­der­way caused back­ups of south­bound traf­fic at one point as far to the west as the 120 By­pass just short of In­ter­state 5 and on Highway 99 north of Lathrop Road.

The Ripon Con­sol­i­dated Fire Dis­trict pro­vided mu­tual aid with the Sal­ida Fire Depart­ment on the call hav­ing to thread through heavy free­way traf­fic al­ready backed up into Ripon and be­yond as they at­tempted to en­ter the south bound lanes.

Ripon res­i­dent John Man­ge­los said he was sur­prised to see com­mute traf­fic com­ing by his home on Mul­hol­land Drive in the late af­ter­noon and asked one of the mo­torists driv­ing by where they had come from. The neigh­bor­hood is just north of a Highway 99 north­bound on ramp that has been closed due to con­struc­tion. Driv­ers told him their ve­hi­cle’s GPS sys­tems were send­ing them from Yosemite Av­enue and Highway 99 in Man­teca to the ru­ral Jack Tone Road to the east and then south into the sur­face streets of Ripon en­route to Modesto. Many said they had be­come to­tally lost with some hav­ing been backed up in traf­fic on Mur­phy and Jack Tone roads to the north­east of Ripon try­ing to get across the river into Stanis­laus County.

There were no in­juries re­ported in the in­ci­dent. An­other crash in­volv­ing three ve­hi­cles min­utes ear­lier oc­curred on east­bound Highway 120 By­pass where it con­nects with south bound Highway 99 just south of Man­teca.

Photo con­trib­uted

Com­mute traf­fic is backed on Mul­holand Drive in Ripon on Mon­day af­ter­noon fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent on Highway 99.

The spill on Highway 99 in Sal­ida on Mon­day af­ter­noon that snarled both north­bound and south­bound traf­fic.

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