Officials: Highway 12 improvement project will make the dangerous Delta road safer
Lodi City Councilman Larry Hansen tells state officials, elected officials and Tower Park Marina residents how important it is that improvements are being made to Highway 12 to make it safer for motorists. Hansen, who represents the city of Lodi on the San Joaquin Council of Governments, spoke during a groundbreaking ceremony at Tower Park Marina on Tuesday, May 15, 2012.
- Recent fatal accidents on highway 12
April 28, 2012: David Smith, 61, Lodi, was killed when he tried to pass a Honda on his motorcycle in no-passing zone just east of Denverton Road. Smith and another motorcyclist tried to pass three cars.
April 4, 2012: Jeffrey Herbert, 38, Stockton, died in big rig-SUV collision near Peatland Road. Herbert was driving a Chevy Suburban.
Sept. 18, 2011: Phyllis Lawyer, 84, Modesto, was killed when the 2000 Kia Sportage she was riding in was hit head-on west of Tower Park Marina.
July 13, 2011: Kirstin Aksnes, 21, Fairfield, died after her car collided with a big-rig at 5:30 a.m. Aksnes was traveling east in a Volkswagen when her car went into the westbound lanes and struck an oncoming big-rig truck near Brannan Island Road near the San Joaquin-Sacramento county line.
March 21, 2011: Thomas Rosten, 77, Tracy, died of injuries from a head-on collision near Tower Park. He was struck by a big-rig truck while making a left turn on March 3 and died 18 days later.
— Ross Farrow
- Highway 12 improvements at Tower Park hit home for project manager
Scott Guidi was born and raised in Stockton. He's driven Highway 12 between Highway 99 and Interstate 80 throughout his life. As project manager of Highway 12 improvements planned this year between Interstate 5 and the Mokelumne River bridge, Guidi's engineering work really hit home.
On March 3, 2011, a man was struck by a big-rig as he made a left turn from Highway 12 to Tower Park Drive. The victim, a 77-year-old Tracy man, survived another 18 days before he died.
What Guidi didn't know was that the man who died was someone he knew.
Thomas Rosten, an engineer for several Delta reclamation districts, including the one that governs waterways at Tower Park Marina, had negotiated with Guidi on right-of-way issues in preparation for the safety improvements planned for Highway 12.
Rosten was headed to a meeting with the California Department of Fish and Game to review recent levee work at Tower Park at about 10 a.m. on March 3 when the collision occurred, Dan Nomellini Jr., an attorney for several Delta reclamation districts, recalled last year.
Driving a 2001 Ford Explorer west on Highway 12, Rosten made a left turn into the path of a big-rig truck driven by Joel Stevens, 24, of Manteca, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
"It really makes (the project) real, putting a place and a name to it," Guidi said during Tuesday's groundbreaking of Highway 12 improvements. "I think this is a great, great project, especially for the Tower Park people."
The fruit of Guidi's engineering work began Monday night.
— Ross Farrow
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 12:00 am
Updated: 6:41 am, Wed May 16, 2012.
During the past dozen years, an estimated 72 people have lost their lives on the portion of Highway 12 between Lodi and Suisun City, Lodi City Councilman Larry Hansen told a group of elected officials and Tower Park residents Tuesday.
That is far too many, and as far as Hansen is concerned, it took way too long to add some necessary safety features.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 12:00 am.
Updated: 6:41 am.