Starting Sunday, June 4, drivers along Highway 41, from Avenue 15 to Oakhurst, may experience delays of up to 15 minutes as Caltrans begins an extensive project to install rumble strips in the center of the road.
Sam Yniguez, public information officer for Caltrans District 6, said the $700,000 project is scheduled to last for two months. Construction work will be done from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday evenings through Friday mornings.
He said Caltrans crews will install the strips a mile at a time in between north and southbound traffic, all the way from Avenue 15 to the intersection with Highway 49, with one-way traffic controls along the affected portions.
“Basically, the purpose of this is out of safety concerns due to the number of collisions, fatal wrecks, and the like due to inattentive driving,” Yniguez said.
Yniguez said in a Caltrans study, from 2006 to 2010, there were 10 fatalities in the project area due to “cross the line” crashes, where a driver heads into ongoing traffic. Out of those 10, four were due to inattentive driving, and three due to people attempting to pass other vehicles.
“It’s important to have some kind of alert system there, because for someone inattentive or drowsy behind the wheel, these rumble strips will create not just a vibration but a sound to help keep them awake,” Yniguez said. “That should wake somebody up and let them know hey, you’re going into oncoming traffic.”
Yniguez asked for drivers to be patient, and as always, “slow for the cone zone.”
“Drivers don’t like delays, we understand that,” Yniguez said. “But once they know we’re trying to make this corridor safer for themselves and others, I think they’ll understand.”
The $700,000 is coming from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program, Yniguez said.