County prepares for Highway 41 expansion

Mountain Area commuters will be happy to know that Highway 41 will be adding another much needed passing lane to the southern corridor near 22 mile house in Madera.

According to county officials the project has been in the works for more than seven years after the Madera County Transportation Commission initially approved the project.

The safety and convenience project will add an additional passing to both the southbound and northbound lanes running 2.2 miles north of Road 208.

Prior to these additions commuters were forced to travel more than 16 miles between Avenue 12 in Madera and Road 200 in North Fork causing motorists to be stuck for miles behind big rigs, delivery trucks, and recreational vehicles.

The 1.9 mile stretch will run .3 miles north of Road 208 to 2.2 miles north of Road 208 and will include 8-foot outside shoulder, 4-foot soft median barrier and rumble strips on the outside shoulders and the median. Drainage will also be included

Funding for the project came from Cal Trans, Madera County Transportation Commission, County Public Works and Chukchansi. Although a total amount of funding needed for the project will not be known until March, the county says they have already considered the cost and have previously collected the revenue necessary to complete the project.

Johannes Hoevertzs of the Madera County Public Works said he expects the project to roll out sometime between late summer 2015 and the end of the year.

The project is scheduled to take 12-18 months and Hoevertsz said although the roads will not be closed during construction, motorists can expect delays.

According to Hoevertsz the addition to Highway 41 is the first since the roads were widened and a left hand turn lane was put in at Road 416 and Highway 41 more than 5 years ago.

This project is not the only one scheduled for the Highway 41. Others addition being talked about with the county include adding lanes near Raod 209 which would be part of the agreement between the county and the Madera Quarry which is currently in the works, improvements to 41 and avenue 12 which is part of the Riverstone project that will take place in the next 12-18 months. Also as part of the agreement with the Tesoro Viejo project in Madera plans a project between avenue 15 and 14 at some point in the next 2-3 years.

“We are excited to see this project finally come to construct after working on this so long because I know the residents of Madera county will benefit immensely by this project.”

“I know how frustrating it can be for having people trying to pass me, so this is going to be great for the commuters.”