Ever waited for what seemed like a ridiculously long period of time for a traffic signal to change? Starting Monday, drivers will be waiting a really, really long time to turn south from Stockdale Highway onto Stine Road.
Long, as in almost three years.
The Thomas Roads Improvement Program, the state/local transportation agency responsible for most of the ongoing highway construction taking place throughout the metro area, announced Thursday that the south side of Stockdale and Stine will be closed starting Jan. 27.
TRIP said that one of the contractors building the Centennial Corridor, as the new crosstown freeway connector will be known, will need to close Stine on the south side of Stockdale, and that half of the intersection is expected to remain closed for the duration of the project — until late 2022.
The new section of freeway, which will join the southern leg of State Route 58, also known as the Barstow-Bakersfield Highway, to the Westside Parkway, western Stockdale Highway and eventually Interstate 5, will be below grade where it cuts through developed areas of the city.
Drivers will still be able to access essentially the entire length of Stine Road south of Stockdale, but they must do so from Belle Terrace. Residents of the area will be able to use adjacent streets to access the entire neighborhood from Stockdale.
The closure, originally scheduled to take place earlier but pushed back to this month, will enable workers to build the freeway overcrossing that will span Stockdale. A mile to the northwest, work is farther along on an overcrossing to span California Avenue.
Daytime closures are scheduled for Stine Road on the north side of Stockdale Highway on two upcoming days: Wednesday and then Feb. 4. The closures will affect southbound traffic between Ford Avenue and Stockdale Highway. Southbound motorists will be detoured west on Ford to North McDonald Way to access Stockdale. The northbound side of Stine is expected to remain open while the contractor constructs piles for the new bridge.
East-west traffic on Stockdale Highway shouldn't be affected.
TRIP officials announced separately Thursday that the on-ramp from Ming Avenue to northbound Highway 99 will be closed overnight Monday through Wednesday between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to facilitate retaining wall construction.
Northbound motorists can enter 99 from the on-ramp at Wible Road, about a mile north.
All of this could change without notice due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, but this is the plan.
TRIP officials urge drivers to slow down and watch for construction workers and equipment while driving in the vicinity of this work. The agency apologizes for any inconvenience this work may cause the traveling public, TRIP spokeswoman Janet Wheeler said in a news release.