FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2022
Media Contact: Rose Willems
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Golden State Boulevard Improvement and Enhancement Corridor Project
(FRESNO COUNTY, CA) – A formal celebratory press event was held today, Tuesday, November 1, 2022, to break ground for the Golden State Boulevard Corridor Project. The event commemorated the 14-mile, $53.1 million transportation improvement project funded by Measure C, scheduled to begin its first phase of improvements in November 2022. The groundbreaking event took place at the Worship Centre off Manning Avenue in Fowler, CA.
Golden State Boulevard is a 14-mile stretch of historic Highway 99, spanning from American Avenue in Fresno County to Mission Street in the City of Kingsburg. The project area will pass through the cities of Fowler, Kingsburg, and Selma, and some unincorporated areas in Fresno County.
The Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA), Fresno Council of Governments (Fresno COG), the County of Fresno, the City of Fowler, the City of Kingsburg, and the City of Selma hosted the event as the project’s partnering agencies. The event was sponsored by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Mark Thomas, Yarbs Grading and Paving, and Vulcan Materials Company.
The Golden State project was originally approved in 2006 as a regional project identified within the Measure C Extension Expenditure Plan. Following the Measure’s passage, the Fresno Council of Governments oversaw the project’s design phase. By Spring of 2010, preliminary planning and engineering commenced and was completed two years later. The final engineering phase began in 2016 and was completed in 2021.
Due to extensive involvement with the Union Pacific Railroad, it was decided to split the project into two phases. This first phase will concentrate on improvements to Golden State itself, while phase two will begin in 2023 and construct improvements across the railroad right of way on the local streets.
The two-phase project will improve Golden State Boulevard’s overall condition and safety, as well as its cross streets and numerous Union Pacific Railroad crossings. Recognized as a “Complete Streets” solution for these south Fresno County communities, the improvements will eliminate roadway and sidewalk flooding, improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, preserve infrastructure, and beautify key entry points into each city – inviting more commercial and affordable housing development along the corridor.
“I am proud that Measure C has committed $53.1 million for the design, right-of-way and construction of the Golden State Boulevard Corridor,” said Fresno County Transportation Authority Board Chair and Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes. “The breadth and scope of improvements being made for this project exemplify how important Measure C is today and for the future of Fresno County.”
“Like many historic roadways, portions of Golden State Boulevard have vanished, while others are in disrepair,” said City of Selma Mayor Scott Robertson. “And while some segments have managed to retain their historic charm, much of the roadway is in need of considerable rehabilitation.”
The improvements being made from the Golden State Boulevard Corridor Project were selected for a myriad of transportation goals including priorities like pavement condition improvements, safety, greater accessibility, economic vitality, growth and overall quality of life.
Some specific project improvements will include: pavement rehabilitation; intersection signalization and turning lanes; sidewalks, crosswalks and median improvements; street lighting; drainage facilities; buffered bike lanes and landscaping.
“This portion of Golden State Boulevard has accident rates approximately four times higher than the statewide average for similar facilities,” said City of Selma Mayor Scott Robertson. “For a four-year period, ending in December 2019, there were 137 collisions that resulted in 9 fatalities and 195 injuries. The improvements included in this project, should result in a significant reduction in total, injury, and fatal accidents.”
“Smaller cities and unincorporated areas throughout the County typically don’t have the funds available to accomplish this scale of improvements – but Measure C makes it possible for cities like Fowler, Kingsburg and Selma to not only have the funding, but maintain local control over how those funds are spent and can best benefit our residents,” said City of Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Mark Rodriguez.
“Fresno County’s diverse communities have and continue to implement plans, programs and projects to lift the area and its residents, while lowering poverty rates and creating greater access for all,” said City of Kingsburg Councilmember and Fresno County of Governments Board Chair Michelle Roman. “The Golden State Corridor Project is going to only further those efforts and drive greater economic gains to the neighboring communities.”
Golden State Boulevard Project updates will continue to be provided as milestones are met and anticipated improvements are made throughout construction.
For more information about Fresno County transportation improvement projects, visit www.MeasureC.com.