TRIP-2

Workers drive piles for the future Centennial Corridor bridge crossing Ford Avenue last December.

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.

(3) comments

Fram Smith

Have you ever wondered why some cities are well organized , and others not so much ? To truely understand why our city is so poorly structured both in the physical urban landscape and poor governance , one must study the difference between " common law " versus " charter " cities. Common Law cities have uniform policies of governance that are the same for literally hundreds of cities . For example , a Common Law city the size of Bakersfield would have approximately 3 to 5 full time city council members working hand in glove with the city manager to design a city to meet the needs of the constituents . Bakersfield is a character city with 7 " volunteer " city council members. Almost all major decisions come from city staff , and are rubber stamped by the city council . If you want to understand why this road construction boom is underway , one would benefit from studying how measure N monies , TRIP use ot or lose it monies , and state matching use it or lose it monies , all came together at the same time. By any urban geography standard , Bakersfield was and continues to be physically developed in a truely haphazard manner. Our city is designed to maximize profits for people who have no intention of ever living here .

2carpoor

This whole fiasco has NOTHING FINISHED after at least two years. NICE neighborhoods have been turned into major traffic lanes and dead ends. And NOTHING has been completed! It almost seems like entrances and exits to Bakersfield on 99 are in Mettler and Delano.... if you can get there. As Cal-Trans is in Fresno there would have been some completions. The Belle Terrace bridge is a total disaster! Three or four shifts/24 hours would bring closure for something! People around Centennial Park have been suffering through Big Equipment for years. They are still listening to pile drivers! There has to be someone able to get things going... and completed. Shameful!

Desperado

Some of these workers will retire on this job. Talk about job security.

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