BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — You may be noticing a lot more construction around Bakersfield starting this summer.
Caltrans says a series of road projects will be going on for the next four years. This large undertaking by Caltrans is aimed at reconstructing and rehabilitating large areas along Highways 58 and 99.
Officials announced Monday a total of seven projects totaling $450 million with a completion date in 2022. Caltrans says that once these projects are completed, the result will be less traffic and less wear and tear on your vehicle.
Drivers should prepare themselves for longer commutes as projects are expected to be worked on around the clock and through rush hour.
Here are the areas you should look out for:
The Centennial Corridor Mainline, where crews will be constructing the freeway mainline between Highway 99 and the Westside Parkway starting this summer.
The Beltway Operational Improvement project which will build a new structure to carry traffic from Highway 99 to Highway 58 eastbound.
The Bakersfield 99 Rehab will replace pavement on Highway 99 from Palm Avenue overcrossing to the Beardsley Canal Bridge to create a safer and smoother ride.
The Union to White Lane Rehab will also replace pavement on Highway 99 from Union Avenue to White Lane, as well as increase the clearance at the Panama Lane and White Lane overcrossings, but luckily this project doesn't start until next year.
The Bakersfield Freeway Connector which will reconstruct the loop ramp at the Highway 58 and Highway 99 interchange and widen the bridge over Highway 99.
The Belle Terrace Bridge Replacement that's currently underway, but already behind schedule because of bad weather conditions, and is now expected to be completed by next summer.
The Gap Closure Rehab that will improve the pavement on Highway 58 from the Highway 58 and Highway 99 separation up to Cottonwood Road.
With all these changes Bakersfield residents will likely be dealing with increased traffic for the next couple years, but Caltrans says they will be issuing regular updates through their social media accounts so drivers can stay on top of any possible closures and delays.
In the meantime, Caltrans urges everyone to drive safe, slow down in construction zones and remember that all this headache will be worth it in the end.