Caltrans has received approval for nearly 90 "fix-it-first" transportation projects worth nearly $3.4 billion, including more than $90 million in projects in Kern County.
"Years of unfunded maintenance needs have plagued our roadways, so Caltrans is expediting projects with the expectation of SB 1 funds coming in November," Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in a news release. "We are lining up projects that are going to deliver real results for all users of the state transportation system."
The improvements include improving or replacing 66 bridges, rehabilitating 1,200 miles of pavement on highways across the state, repairing more than 300 culverts and drainage systems and installing nearly 2,400 "elements" that are part of traffic management systems, according to the release.
The following projects in Kern County received funding:
• Pavement preservation and improvement of 21 miles on Interstate 5 from Twisselman Road Overcrossing to the Kern/Kings county line. Cost: $25.1 million.
• Drainage and culvert repairs along I-5 from north of the Fort Tejon Overcrossing to south of the Grapevine Undercrossing. Cost: $14.2 million.
• Curb ramp upgrades, pavement preservation and improvement of 6.3 miles on Highway 46 from Magnolia Avenue to F Street near Wasco. Cost: $7.6 million.
• Pavement preservation, shoulder widening, upgraded curb ramps and installation of bike lanes along 18.5 miles of Highway 184 from Hickory Lane to East Brundage Lane near Bakersfield. Cost: $31.9 million.
• Pavement preservation, upgraded curb ramps, sidewalks, bike lanes and shoulder widening along 11 miles on Highway 184 from south of Edison Highway to Highway 178. Cost: $12.1 million.
• Pavement preservation and improvements to 4.7 miles on Highway 204 from F Street to Highway 99 in Bakersfield. Cost: $5.1 million.
Ahron Hakimi, executive director of the Kern Council of Governments, a local transportation agency, said the projects are long overdue.
"I did see all the projects that were advanced and we’re looking forward to them being delivered early," he said.
SB 1 provides an ongoing funding increase of $1.8 billion per year for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the state highway system.