Major construction on Highway 99 expected to last for months; authorities say it will be worth it | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-09-27 03:01:00 –

For months, traffic slowed until it stalled on Highway 99 in northwestern Bakersfield, as both Caltrans and the city were about to complete a major construction project.

Local residents, who may be confused by the reason why the construction has not been completed yet, are dissatisfied with the construction.

“I think they’re doing it just to get OT,” said Aaron Zniga, an employee of a local mechanics workshop, after work on Friday.

His colleague Jose Vidrio agreed. “It should take 12 minutes to get home, but instead it takes 30 or 40 minutes. What’s going on? What are we paying for you?”

However, the results of the project are expected to benefit the city for generations to come.

Aaron Hakimi, Secretary-General of the Khan Government Council, said: “The end result when we all end here in a year is well worth the wait. We will have a transportation system that will serve the people of Bakersfield and Kern County for 50 to 100 years. “

Unfortunately, Bakersfield commuters have been in traffic for months because construction is not expected to be completed until next year.

It may look like one continuous project, but it’s actually two. The Bakersfield Centennial Corridor project connects Highway 58 to Westside Parkway. This involves a major relocation of on-ramps and off-ramps to prepare for the expanding traffic flow near the exchanges on highways 58 and 99.

Just north of the city’s work, Caltrans is upgrading its two degraded outer lanes with reinforced concrete. Drivers may recognize the construction by a partition that separates the leftmost lane of the Southbound Highway 99 by a few miles.

Phase 3 of the Centennial Corridor, including the Highway 99 ramp, will be completed by February 2022 and the Caltrans project will be completed in the spring. This means that the impact on traffic will continue for a few more months. This is also an unattractive prospect for those who are working.

“We’re doing our best not to be in the same place at the same time, but in the last three to four years, every time we go to a new project, Caltrans seems to get a new one,” said project Luis Topete. increase. Manager of Centennial Corridor. “I drive in Bakersfield. I feel everyone’s pain.”

Still, Hakimi said the benefits of both projects are far longer than the time it takes to build the project and contribute significantly to the long-term goals of the region. Moreover, so far, traffic delays have been relatively minimal, he said.

“Our economy in Kern County depends on our ability to move people and things,” he said. “We are not in the high-tech field. We are all behind computers. We have agricultural products that need to move, petroleum products that need to move. We need the ability to move people and things.”

After Phase 3 of the Centennial Corridor is over, the city will begin work on the mainline connectors on Highway 58 and Westside Parkway. Work on this part of the project is not expected to have a significant impact on traffic and should be completed by March 2023.

“Caltrans appreciates the patience of travelers and ensures that residents and travelers continue to coordinate between agencies to minimize delays as much as possible,” the agency told Californians electronically. I mentioned in the email. “In the meantime, drivers should continue to pay attention to the construction site and allocate additional travel time as needed.”

You can reach Sammorgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @ smorgenTBC.

Major construction on Highway 99 expected to last for months; authorities say it will be worth it | News Source link Major construction on Highway 99 expected to last for months; authorities say it will be worth it | News

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