Construction work to create two new right turn lanes on Calloway Drive at Westside Parkway is expected to be completed soon.

Project Manager Luis Topete said work will be finished up in April on adding two turn lanes, one on southbound Calloway for those who want to head west on the parkway and another for those trying to turn on southbound Calloway from the eastbound parkway.

The project was started in January in preparation for the Centennial Corridor project, which will link Highway 58 to the parkway. The parkway will eventually be a part of Highway 58.

Before that can happen, however, Topete said the city has to transfer jurisdiction of the parkway to the California Department of Transportation so that it can become a state freeway. As part of that process, there are a few requirements that have to be met first, including adding those lanes.

“It’s connected with the fact that when the Centennial Corridor gets built, there’s going to be more traffic on Westside Parkway because it will be part of the 58,” he said.

Topete said he expects the transfer will be completed by the end of the year, after which signs will go up marking the Westside Parkway as Highway 58.

While Rosedale Highway currently has Highway 58 signs, Topete said jurisdiction of the roadway has already been transferred to the city and the county, which makes it no longer a state road.

“Once the transfer is approved, Caltrans will probably take the signs off Rosedale Highway and place them on the parkway,” he said. “At that point, it will technically be part of Highway 58, even though the Centennial Corridor hasn’t been built yet.”

Design work for the Centennial project is near completion, according to the city. The city now also owns all the land needed for the project. Soundwall construction is expected to start this summer.

The cost of the Calloway project is $700,000, with the money funded through the Thomas Roads Improvement Program, Topete said.

Beltway project

A full closure of the ramp connecting northbound Highway 99 to eastbound Highway 58 has been tentatively scheduled for this weekend.

Topete said the closure was originally scheduled for last weekend but was cancelled due to the rain. With some rain also in the forecast for this weekend, he said it may have to be pushed back again, but no decision has been made yet.

“We’re going to wait until Wednesday or Thursday to decide, once we have a better picture of what the weather will be,” he said.

The 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday closure is needed to finish work before traffic will diverted to the new connector bridge, built as part of the Beltway Operations Improvement project.

Whenever the weekend closure is conducted, Topete said motorists will be able to use the new connector bridge the Monday after the closure.

Those travelling southbound on Highway 99 will still be able to access eastbound Highway 58 during this closure. Topete said the southbound traffic will be switched to the new bridge two weeks following the northbound side.

Joseph Luiz can be reached at 395-7368 or by email at jluiz@bakersfield.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JLuiz_TBC. 

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