Charles Doud/The Madera Tribune
From left are Madera County Supervisor David Rogers, Congressman Jim Costa, and Supervisors Robert Poythress, Brett Frazier and Max Rodriguez. They were participating Saturday in a groundbreaking to commemorate the beginning of a project to widen State Route 99 through Madera from Avenue 12 to Avenue 17.
Groundbreaking held for expansion at Rotary Park
A highway project nine years in the planning was begun Saturday with a groundbreaking at Rotary Park, overlooking State Route 99, which within a year is scheduled to be two lanes wider and much improved.
The year-long construction phase, which highway officials say will improve traffic flow through the heart of Madera and surrounding communities, will add two lanes to the freeway between Avenues 12 and 17, rehabilitate some 24 existing lane miles with continuously reinforced concrete pavement, upgrade the Almond Avenue on-ramp, construct 3,500 feet of drainage systems with 70 new drainage inlets, construct five maintenance vehicle pullouts, construct 1,950 feet of sound wall and 25,000 feet of sound barrier.
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and be completed during the summer of 2020.
Total project cost will be $86.3 million.
Eight public officials spoke briefly at the groundbreaking. They included Elizabeth Yelton, public information officer of Caltrans District 6; Sharri Bender Ehlert, District director of the California Department of Transportation; Paul Van Konynenburg, a commissioner of the California Transportation Commission; Congressman Jim Costa; Madera County Supervisors David Rogers, Rob Poythress, Brett Frazier and Max Rodriguez; and Madera Mayor Andrew Medellin, who also is chair of the Madera County Transportation Commission.
They spoke to how valuable the widening of the freeway would be to the economy of Madera and surrounding area, and how it would save motorists money and make driving along the route much safer.
The project is made possible by the collecting of money from various funds: State Senate Bill 1, State Route 99 bond, Measure T, the Madera County transportation tax, and the Regional Improvement Program.
Agency partners include Caltrans, Madera County Transportation Authority and the Madera County Transportation Commission. Security Paving Co. of Sylmar will be the contractor, and Anand Kapoor will be project manager.