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Some in Bakersfield feel left behind as Centennial Corridor moves forward

FILE -- Crews perform demolition work May 24, 2016, in Bakersfield, Calif., in advance of construction on the Centennial Corridor highway project. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

In June of this year, the city broke ground on the Centennial Corridor project.

Starting the "process to progress" by connecting the Westside Parkway to Highway 58, the end game is to provide a continuous east-west freeway through Bakersfield.

Eyewitness News took a look at the people who have been left behind in the wake of the project. Peggy Abrego lives on Morrison Street off Stockdale Highway and is one of the many who feels left behind as the corridor moves forward.

Abrego's home sits two doors down from what was once several houses but is now a vacant field.

"The dust is horrible, the scenery, I mean, its dirt," Abrego said. "Before it was houses and green lawns and neighbors and kids playing, and fences, and it was a pretty neighborhood."

Robyn Cline lives around the corner with her ill mother, Frankie James. James owned two houses on Dunlap. One of them was torn down to make way for the project, and the city only needs a portion of their front yard.

Cline said the lengthy project has not made things easier for her mother's health.

"She is in the last stages of cancer, and it has not been very healthy for her," said Cline.

Dawn Anderson oversaw the demolition portion of the project. In regards to noise, the city is required to stay within certain sound codes, which they say they are doing. Anderson said they work only in the day and are working on adding sound walls that will drown out the noise.

Regarding the dust, they have used water trucks and wood chips to keep the dust from blowing too much.

Regardless, Abrego and Cline say they are still stuck in an unfortunate situation and don't want to stand in the way of the city's progress.




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