How far has $630 million in Thomas Roads Improvement Program money gone upgrading Bakersfield's major transportation corridors?

A long, long way, if you step back and look at the TRIP projects the city has finished and has in the works, which we like to do every couple years.

Just about all of the money secured by former Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Bakersfield, before he retired in 2007 has been used, and the city is looking for additional grants to begin building the Centennial Corridor.

Here is the latest list of ongoing projects and how close they are to completion, as released by TRIP officials at the beginning of this month. See our sidebar for a list what's already finished.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

1. Beltway Operational Improvements

Details: Provides traffic improvements along Highway 58, from Highway 99 to Cottonwood Road, and adds a lane in either direction along Highway 99 in the area between Ming Avenue and Wilson Road.

Status: 60 percent complete; completion expected in early 2018

Work on the pump plant, which removes water that collects under the road, on northbound Highway 99 near Ming Avenue continues. 

Falsework, or temporary support, for the new connector bridge for Highway 99 to eastbound Highway 58 is nearly complete. Crews will begin installing steel for the bridge stems and bottom frame in May. Work to widen the bridges at P Street, the Bakersfield Corral Overhead (a railroad bridge), and Madison Street are also underway.

Multiple retaining and sound walls are being constructed along Highway 58 on both sides of the freeway. Walls and barrier rails are also under construction along the on- and off-ramps at Chester Avenue, H Street and Union Avenue.

2. Highway 178 Widening

Details: Widens the highway from two to six lanes from just east of Morning Drive to Masterson Street and from two to four lanes from Masterson to Miramonte Drive. Masterson, Alfred Harrell Highway, Miramonte and Highway 184 will be realigned and/or widened where they intersect with 178.

Status: 85 percent complete; completion expected in May 2017

The old Highway 178/184 intersection is currently closed so the contractor can complete work in this area. This closure is expected last until mid-May.

The contractor completed the final lift of paving on Highway 178 and Highway 184 in March. The contractor plans to pave the section of Highway 178 between Masterson Street and Alfred Harrell Highway with rubberized asphalt, which is generally used to reduce road noise, in April.

3. Southbound Highway 99 auxiliary lane/Rosedale Highway off-ramp improvements 

Status: 95 percent complete; completion expected this month

The southbound Highway 99 auxiliary lane/Rosedale Highway off-ramp improvements were fully opened in mid-April. Crews are expected to remain in the area for a few more weeks to complete detail work, such as arranging electrical lines and irrigation.

IN DESIGN AND RIGHT-OF-WAY ACQUISITION

4. 24th Street Improvement Project

Details: Widens, realigns and restripes 24th Street from west of Highway 99 to east of M Street; realigns and restripes 23rd from west of C Street to east of M Street to add a lane in each direction. Also includes improvements to the 24th Street/Highway 99 interchange and the northbound 99 auxiliary lane; widens the Oak Street/24th Street intersection.

Status: Design 65 percent complete; right-of-way acquisition 100 percent complete

The project designer is working to complete the sound wall construction plans. Sound walls for properties on the north side of 24th Street could begin in summer 2017.

Demolition work is underway on the north side of 24th Street. Five houses have been removed; eight houses are scheduled for demolition in April.

There were no bidders for the auction scheduled on April 4 for the five houses available for relocation on the south side of 24th Street. These properties will be advertised for demolition in April.

The city plans to hold an auction on the house located at 2312 24th St. on April 27. The successful buyer will relocate the house from its current location to the new lot fronting Bay Street. Information can be found on Planet Bids and on the TRIP website.

5. Truxtun Avenue/Oak Street Intersection Operational Improvements

Details: Widens Truxtun to three lanes in both directions between Empire Drive and Elm Street.

Status: Design 100 percent complete; right-of-way acquisition 65 percent complete

Timeline for the lane expansion is subject to receiving permits from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Army Corps of Engineers.

6. Hageman Flyover

Details: Connects Hageman Road to Golden State Highway/Highway 204 with roadway across Highway 99.

Status: Design 95 percent complete; right-of-way acquisition 0 percent complete

Caltrans is finalizing draft plans. The city is working with San Joaquin Valley Railroad on a construction and maintenance agreement and a California Public Utilities Commission permit application. Right-of-way appraisals and acquisition will not begin until design has progressed to 100 percent.

7. Centennial Corridor

Details: Connects Highway 58 to the Westside Parkway with possible connections to southbound Highway 99.

Status: Design 65 percent complete; right-of-way acquisition 98 percent complete

Final design, right-of-way acquisitions of single-family properties, and demolition activities are underway. To date, 202 of the 222 houses and retail properties have been demolished.

The City Council has approved purchase agreements for 192 single family properties (99 percent of what must be acquired); nine multi-family properties (100 percent of what must be acquired); and 17 commercial/industrial properties (89 percent of what must be acquired). Sewer, local streets, screen wall and sound wall packages are being prepared and work is expected to begin in summer 2017.

On March 29, the City Council awarded the $41.1 million contract for the Kern River Bridge Improvements Project to Security Paving Company.

Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at (661) 395-7368. Follow her on Twitter via @TBCCityBeat.

(1) comment

throw the bull

$630 million is the federal government share. $1.4 billion is the total TRIP amount. That includes the city of Bakersfield share of $400 million. The city will have debt for up to 30 years to pay this amount plus interest. You should really look at this. There is a grand jury report that shows the amounts.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.