The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 15 to mark the completion of work on the “State Route 99 Realignment for High-Speed Rail” project in the City of Fresno.
The project shifted portions of the highway between Ashlan Avenue and Clinton Avenue 80 to 100 feet to the west to make room for the high-speed rail alignment.
“Enough can’t be said about what it took to get a project of this scope and size completed,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “This is an amazing achievement for District 6 and High-Speed Rail. It’s also a sign of good things to come.”
At $290 million, this project is the biggest in the history of District 6. Along with the relocation of the highway, three overcrossings were demolished and completely reconstructed to accommodate the height and width requirements of the high-speed train. The realignment is part of the high-speed rail corridor of projects within the Merced to Fresno project section.
“The completion of this project marks a major milestone in constructing the high-speed rail project through the Central Valley,” said Central Regional Director Diana Gomez. “Through our partnership with Caltrans, not only were infrastructure updates made, but hundreds of jobs were created.
Several improvements were made to the corridor as well, including the addition of three through lanes and an auxiliary for each direction of travel. Also, three at-grade onramps were permanently closed to improve traffic flow and overall safety on the heavily-traveled thoroughfare.
“This was a huge undertaking with a lot of moving parts and I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish with minimal disruption to mainline traffic,” said Caltrans District Director Sharri Bender Ehlert. “It’s a real testament to the partnership between Caltrans, High-Speed Rail and the City of Fresno.”