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State puts highway projects in the fast lane

State puts highway projects in the fast lane

Caltrans will begin $5.5 million in highway improvement projects before next summer

@TheSunGazette

SACRAMENTO — Tulare County will be getting five and a half million dollars in additional highway funds before next summer.

The largest of the Tulare County projects will improve Highway 99 through the city of Tulare. The $3.6 million pavement project will improve 14.8 miles of 99 from East Paige Avenue to south of East Cartmill Avenue.

Another $1.9 million will go toward revamping bridges in Tulare County, including on Highway 137 between Highway 99 and Outside Creek in the city of Tulare, on Highway 99 at various locations between West Caldwell Avenue in the city of Visalia to 18th Avenue in the city of Kingsburg, and on Highway 198 at various locations from east of Road 68 east of Visalia to Farmersville Boulevard in the city of Farmersville.

The local road projects are part of Caltrans’ plan to begin more than 120 new “Fix-it-First” projects this fiscal year (July 2018 – June 2019), replacing, repairing and improving more than 6,700 lane miles of pavement, 250 culverts and 320 bridges across the state, due to funds from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. These projects got the green light after the department received almost half a billion dollars of SB 1 funding for new state highway maintenance projects this fiscal year.

“Without the funds from SB 1, some of these projects would be postponed, costing taxpayers a lot more money down the road,” said Caltrans Director Laurie. “It would be like putting Band-Aids on our roads and bridges instead of the long-term repair and repaving projects provided by SB 1.”

Caltrans is planning to use about $400 million in SB 1 funds for new maintenance projects to replace, repair and improve the existing state highway, bridges and drainage systems like the aforementioned Tulare County projects. Work includes repairing the state highway by eliminating cracks and potholes on roadways; replacing pavement; performing preventative maintenance work to preserve bridges and roads; replacing and repairing culverts/drainage systems to prevent flooding on roadways; widen striping size from four to six inches on roads to increase safety and visibility for motorists.

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