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Author Topic: Westside Parkway & Centennial Corridor (CA 58 realignment, Bakersfield)  (Read 53014 times)

sparker

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There are long-term plans to extend the freeway on the Centennial Corridor from its current western terminus out to I-5.  It's in the 2018 Kern County Regional Transportation Plan.  The future freeway will be located a bit south of the existing Stockdale Highway, and curve a bit to the southwest as it gets closer to I-5.  The connection is projected to be built after 2030.

 https://www.kerncog.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018_RTP.pdf

I see not wanting to rebuild the Stockdale Highway interchange, but if I were doing it I'd put the new interchange north of Stockdale Highway and south of where CA 58 is now.  Most of the traffic from Bakersfield to I-5 will be turning north.  Most of the traffic heading for the south from Bakersfield would head south on CA 99 instead of heading west to I-5.  That way for the primary travel direction it's a little shorter, and a gentler curve from westbound Centennial Corridor to northbound I-5 and vice versa.


OTOH, if the proposed alignment curves somewhat in a SW direction as it approaches I-5, that seems to indicate that it may well be a free-flow/reasonably high-speed interchange; possibly a trumpet -- with enough distance from the current Stockdale interchange as not to impinge upon the small business center in the SE quadrant.  If "normal" Caltrans practice is applied, the WB 58>NB 5 movement would become an additional lane on I-5 exiting at Stockdale, and the SB on-ramp from Stockdale would become a dedicated exit lane to EB 58.  While the overall multiplexed distance of I-5 with CA 58 would be a mile or so longer, it would slightly shorten the alignment of the CA 58/Westside freeway -- likely one of the rationales for such a configuration.  Too bad it's at least nine years away from development! 

Considering that Kern County is the home of the current House GOP leader (Kevin McCarthy), and considering that earmarks are likely coming back, that 9-year timeframe could be greatly shortened. Because frankly, that west end of the Parkway will be quite the traffic mess within a few months of the Centennial corridor opening. Especially with the development at the end of the Parkway: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3551869,-119.1755325,3a,15y,242.16h,88.37t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sDblzDiCJRariXBVmlJ8aBw!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3DDblzDiCJRariXBVmlJ8aBw%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D126.065125%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

It certainly appears that Bakersfield and environs are positioning themselves as the next warehouse/logistics center in the southern half of the state -- plenty of available land for warehouse structures plus what passes for affordable CA housing these days.  Now....whether McCarthy would elect to please and enhance his own constituents with earmarked projects (such as the CA 58 extension freeway out to I-5) or whether he pivots (as he seems wont to do on a dime) and chooses to align with those in his party with a longstanding disdain for public-sector expenditure remains to be seen -- that's the problem with being in a high-visibility position like minority leader.  Either choice will bring catcalls from one sector or another; in that respect, I certainly don't envy him.
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nexus73

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Since the Bakersfield city limits do hit I-5, it would be interesting to see the development of that city once Freeway 58 to I-5 is completed.

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

sprjus4

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Since the Bakersfield city limits do hit I-5, it would be interesting to see the development of that city once Freeway 58 to I-5 is completed.

Rick
City limits technically do, but any new freeway beyond where the current Parkway terminates would be built outside (north of) those limits.
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nexus73

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It would be in Bakersfield's interest to annex the land which will be developed.  Cities love to collect those taxes! 

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

kkt

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It would be in Bakersfield's interest to annex the land which will be developed.  Cities love to collect those taxes! 

Rick

The bit of Bakersfield city limits that reaches SW to touch I-5 is just a thin strip along the Kern River - city park?

I'm sure Kern County would also love to collect the taxes!
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nexus73

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It would be in Bakersfield's interest to annex the land which will be developed.  Cities love to collect those taxes! 

Rick

The bit of Bakersfield city limits that reaches SW to touch I-5 is just a thin strip along the Kern River - city park?

I'm sure Kern County would also love to collect the taxes!


That sliver of land strikes me as the toe under the tent.  It does set up the city of Bakersfield for further expansion.  There is a lot of ground there to be had between I-5 and 99, then add in a Freeway 58 to see how the backbone of a transportation system would set up a huge amount of development in the south end of the San Joaquin Valley. 

Wouldn't it be fun to see what 2050 looks like over there?

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

fungus

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The sphere of influence of Bakersfield goes all the way down to Highway 223. This is the area that the city could presumptively annex if the land owners are fine with it. https://maps.princeton.edu/catalog/berkeley-s7vd6m
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mrsman

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It would be in Bakersfield's interest to annex the land which will be developed.  Cities love to collect those taxes! 

Rick

The bit of Bakersfield city limits that reaches SW to touch I-5 is just a thin strip along the Kern River - city park?

I'm sure Kern County would also love to collect the taxes!


That sliver of land strikes me as the toe under the tent.  It does set up the city of Bakersfield for further expansion.  There is a lot of ground there to be had between I-5 and 99, then add in a Freeway 58 to see how the backbone of a transportation system would set up a huge amount of development in the south end of the San Joaquin Valley. 

Wouldn't it be fun to see what 2050 looks like over there?

Rick

Could Bakersfield finally become the affordable LA suburb?  The last bastion for Republicans in SoCal?  Too far to commute daily, obviously, but perhaps with a new WFH model that would have folks only needing to come in once a week or less, folks can move here and Bakersfield can grow.  Perhaps a west Bakersfield along I-5 would be about as far from LA as the main Bakersfield along 99.
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fungus

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Victorville/Hesperia at least have proximity to Las Vegas as a selling point. And for the one or two days a week of a commute the drive up the Grapevine, to me, seems much more brutal over the Cajon Pass, which is much lower and which I've crossed often.
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kkt

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It would be in Bakersfield's interest to annex the land which will be developed.  Cities love to collect those taxes! 

Rick

The bit of Bakersfield city limits that reaches SW to touch I-5 is just a thin strip along the Kern River - city park?

I'm sure Kern County would also love to collect the taxes!


That sliver of land strikes me as the toe under the tent.  It does set up the city of Bakersfield for further expansion.  There is a lot of ground there to be had between I-5 and 99, then add in a Freeway 58 to see how the backbone of a transportation system would set up a huge amount of development in the south end of the San Joaquin Valley. 

Wouldn't it be fun to see what 2050 looks like over there?

Rick

Could Bakersfield finally become the affordable LA suburb?  The last bastion for Republicans in SoCal?  Too far to commute daily, obviously, but perhaps with a new WFH model that would have folks only needing to come in once a week or less, folks can move here and Bakersfield can grow.  Perhaps a west Bakersfield along I-5 would be about as far from LA as the main Bakersfield along 99.

Seems quite possible.  Maybe Barstow too.
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Concrete Bob

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When I lived in Los Angeles between late 1988 and early 1990, I remember hearing/viewing several reports in the daily news regarding people who worked in Los Angeles who lived in Bakersfield.  Los Angeles was already expensive back in the late 1980s. 

I can easily envision Bakersfield becoming the next Phoenix, in terms of exploding into a mega city, assuming our nation's economy is not drastically altered in the future.  Phoenix had a population of 105,000 in 1950.  Look what has happened in Phoenix over the past 70 years. 

Bakersfield/Kern County has other proposed freeways planned.  One will run north south from SR 99/7th Standard Road, south to I-5 (West Beltway).  Another will run east-west and north-south from the West Beltway east to 99, then curve north past SR 58 up toward SR 178.  Whether those routes get built is anyone's guess.       
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sparker

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Could Bakersfield finally become the affordable LA suburb?  The last bastion for Republicans in SoCal?  Too far to commute daily, obviously, but perhaps with a new WFH model that would have folks only needing to come in once a week or less, folks can move here and Bakersfield can grow.  Perhaps a west Bakersfield along I-5 would be about as far from LA as the main Bakersfield along 99.

Last bastion for Republicans?  Shit, most inland regions of CA not part of the greater LA metro area or the Bay Area and Sacramento, including the commute zones in and around Tracy and Lathrop, are rife with registered GOP types.  And they dominate much of far northern CA from Redding to the OR state line -- hence the sporadic push for the establishment of the "State of Jefferson" in NorCal and Southern Oregon, far afield from CA and OR's "blue state" political bent.  When I lived down in Hesperia, most of the people I ran into -- and even those with whom I worked -- leaned decidedly right of center.   Bakersfield just happens to be the largest separate CA metro area not classified as an exurb that displays a markedly conservative leaning (although population-wise, the epicenter of Republicanism in CA would arguably be the area consisting of suburban San Diego, southern Orange County, and the south end of the Inland Empire (Temecula, Murietta, etc.)).  Bakersfield is decidedly Republican and will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future -- but it definitely isn't anything like a "last bastion" for them by any means.






 
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Henry

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After hearing of the Centennial Corridor extension plans, I'm hoping it will spur completion of the existing CA 58 freeway to Barstow, with or without I-40 (here's wishing for the former).
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Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!

skluth

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After hearing of the Centennial Corridor extension plans, I'm hoping it will spur completion of the existing CA 58 freeway to Barstow, with or without I-40 (here's wishing for the former).

There's no real point to extending I-40 west of Barstow. CA 58 may run directly west from Barstow, but the traffic flow on I-40 is mostly along I-15 to/from Cajon Pass. Other than the CA 223 intersection and possibly California City Blvd, there are no full interchanges needed. Extending I-40 west is more desired by those obsessed with completing a grid than the actual users who are just happy to finally have a non-stop four-lane highway connecting Bakersfield and Barstow. It's fine as an expressway, much like WI 29 in Wisconsin and US 60 in Missouri.
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sprjus4

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After hearing of the Centennial Corridor extension plans, I'm hoping it will spur completion of the existing CA 58 freeway to Barstow, with or without I-40 (here's wishing for the former).

There's no real point to extending I-40 west of Barstow. CA 58 may run directly west from Barstow, but the traffic flow on I-40 is mostly along I-15 to/from Cajon Pass. Other than the CA 223 intersection and possibly California City Blvd, there are no full interchanges needed. Extending I-40 west is more desired by those obsessed with completing a grid than the actual users who are just happy to finally have a non-stop four-lane highway connecting Bakersfield and Barstow. It's fine as an expressway, much like WI 29 in Wisconsin and US 60 in Missouri.
It would be nice if California could at least authorize a 70 mph limit throughout, even with the at-grade intersections, but unfortunately is restricted to 65 mph due to state law. Caltrans could at least increase some of the freeway mileage that is still 65 mph to 70 mph - Mojave Bypass, Tehachapi Bypass, Hinkley Bypass, and the Kramer Junction Bypass.

The Boron Bypass has been posted at 70 mph for some time, so that's a start.

Over time, remaining at-grade intersections should be closed piece by piece, similar to how SH-99 has been improved over the years, but that should not be the top priority. At this point, extending the freeway from Bakersfield to I-5 should be the top priority.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 11:39:40 AM by sprjus4 »
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Plutonic Panda

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After hearing of the Centennial Corridor extension plans, I'm hoping it will spur completion of the existing CA 58 freeway to Barstow, with or without I-40 (here's wishing for the former).

There's no real point to extending I-40 west of Barstow. CA 58 may run directly west from Barstow, but the traffic flow on I-40 is mostly along I-15 to/from Cajon Pass. Other than the CA 223 intersection and possibly California City Blvd, there are no full interchanges needed. Extending I-40 west is more desired by those obsessed with completing a grid than the actual users who are just happy to finally have a non-stop four-lane highway connecting Bakersfield and Barstow. It's fine as an expressway, much like WI 29 in Wisconsin and US 60 in Missouri.
the amount of truck traffic Iíve experienced if I had unlimited money Iíd extend I-40 to the PCH somewhere between San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbra. I get that is a pipe dream at this point but it seems like a no brainer to extend I-40 to I-5.
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skluth

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After hearing of the Centennial Corridor extension plans, I'm hoping it will spur completion of the existing CA 58 freeway to Barstow, with or without I-40 (here's wishing for the former).

There's no real point to extending I-40 west of Barstow. CA 58 may run directly west from Barstow, but the traffic flow on I-40 is mostly along I-15 to/from Cajon Pass. Other than the CA 223 intersection and possibly California City Blvd, there are no full interchanges needed. Extending I-40 west is more desired by those obsessed with completing a grid than the actual users who are just happy to finally have a non-stop four-lane highway connecting Bakersfield and Barstow. It's fine as an expressway, much like WI 29 in Wisconsin and US 60 in Missouri.
the amount of truck traffic Iíve experienced if I had unlimited money Iíd extend I-40 to the PCH somewhere between San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbra. I get that is a pipe dream at this point but it seems like a no brainer to extend I-40 to I-5.

Upgrading CA 46 to the same standard as CA 58 would accomplish the same thing. Short freeway segments near US 101 and I-5 with interchange bypasses like Blackwells Corner would satisfy most drivers at a lot less cost.
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ClassicHasClass

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I agree. I see more of a need for CA 46 to be upgraded now than CA 58. There's a lot of I-5 (and CA 99) to US 101 cutover traffic that is not well-served on the current facility.
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Plutonic Panda

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After hearing of the Centennial Corridor extension plans, I'm hoping it will spur completion of the existing CA 58 freeway to Barstow, with or without I-40 (here's wishing for the former).

There's no real point to extending I-40 west of Barstow. CA 58 may run directly west from Barstow, but the traffic flow on I-40 is mostly along I-15 to/from Cajon Pass. Other than the CA 223 intersection and possibly California City Blvd, there are no full interchanges needed. Extending I-40 west is more desired by those obsessed with completing a grid than the actual users who are just happy to finally have a non-stop four-lane highway connecting Bakersfield and Barstow. It's fine as an expressway, much like WI 29 in Wisconsin and US 60 in Missouri.
the amount of truck traffic Iíve experienced if I had unlimited money Iíd extend I-40 to the PCH somewhere between San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbra. I get that is a pipe dream at this point but it seems like a no brainer to extend I-40 to I-5.

Upgrading CA 46 to the same standard as CA 58 would accomplish the same thing. Short freeway segments near US 101 and I-5 with interchange bypasses like Blackwells Corner would satisfy most drivers at a lot less cost.
Really much of anything would help. That road has some of the most aggressive truckers Iíve ever seen. I canít remember how many times Iíve had to yield by pulling off the road to a truck passing or risking a head on collision.
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sparker

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After hearing of the Centennial Corridor extension plans, I'm hoping it will spur completion of the existing CA 58 freeway to Barstow, with or without I-40 (here's wishing for the former).

There's no real point to extending I-40 west of Barstow. CA 58 may run directly west from Barstow, but the traffic flow on I-40 is mostly along I-15 to/from Cajon Pass. Other than the CA 223 intersection and possibly California City Blvd, there are no full interchanges needed. Extending I-40 west is more desired by those obsessed with completing a grid than the actual users who are just happy to finally have a non-stop four-lane highway connecting Bakersfield and Barstow. It's fine as an expressway, much like WI 29 in Wisconsin and US 60 in Missouri.
the amount of truck traffic Iíve experienced if I had unlimited money Iíd extend I-40 to the PCH somewhere between San Louis Obispo and Santa Barbra. I get that is a pipe dream at this point but it seems like a no brainer to extend I-40 to I-5.

Upgrading CA 46 to the same standard as CA 58 would accomplish the same thing. Short freeway segments near US 101 and I-5 with interchange bypasses like Blackwells Corner would satisfy most drivers at a lot less cost.
Really much of anything would help. That road has some of the most aggressive truckers Iíve ever seen. I canít remember how many times Iíve had to yield by pulling off the road to a truck passing or risking a head on collision.

IMO, CA 46 would certainly benefit from the "midwest expressway" approach -- a divided expressway with interchanges at major junctions, with bypasses of Wasco, Lost Hills (which would almost assuredly include a new interchange with I-5 -- maybe a cloverleaf with full C/D for both routes), and a bypass of the approach to US 101, which is invariably clogged (on weekends), at least in non-COVID times, with L.A. types doing wine-tasting day trips.  A short (<3 miles) freeway section with a trumpet at US 101 would suffice.  If such a facility materialized, it might even draw commercial traffic heading to I-5 or CA 58 away from CA 152 to the north; much less severe gradients, if a few miles longer (and less time on I-5, always a blessing!). 
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skluth

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I agree that CA 58 east of Bakersfield could be 70 mph. I'd rather have a climbing lane for trucks up Tehachapi Pass though.
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sparker

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I agree that CA 58 east of Bakersfield could be 70 mph. I'd rather have a climbing lane for trucks up Tehachapi Pass though.

That would entail carving out the hillside along the steep section from Woodford east into Tehachapi (passing the famous Tehachapi RR loop) in order to add any extra lanes, since the Tehachapi Creek gully is immediately to the south.  One or two nasty incidents involving slow trucks (especially during winter fog) may prompt D6 to push for funds to do just that.  Since the freeway was pushed through there in the '60's, that section, along with the S-curves just east of the CA 223/Caliente intersections, have been the most physically treacherous parts of the corridor.   Along with grade separation at the aforementioned intersections, those areas are the segments most likely to be tackled in the foreseeable future -- after the "laurel resting" after the 4-lane completion out at Kramer has institutionally passed! 
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sprjus4

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Reconstruction of that mountain pass could also involve bringing it to interstate standards - 6 lane widening, full left and right shoulders, along with removal of any lingering at grade intersections. Arenít the grades steeper than what is traditional as well?
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kkt

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Reconstruction of that mountain pass could also involve bringing it to interstate standards - 6 lane widening, full left and right shoulders, along with removal of any lingering at grade intersections. Arenít the grades steeper than what is traditional as well?

AADT in the Tehachepi area is around 20,000 to 25,000.  I'm not sure that justifies 6 lanes.  Maybe a climbing lane if the grade is steep.
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ClassicHasClass

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Reconstruction of that mountain pass could also involve bringing it to interstate standards - 6 lane widening, full left and right shoulders, along with removal of any lingering at grade intersections. Arenít the grades steeper than what is traditional as well?

AADT in the Tehachepi area is around 20,000 to 25,000.  I'm not sure that justifies 6 lanes.  Maybe a climbing lane if the grade is steep.

There are definitely sections that could use a climbing lane, especially when you get clustertrucks when one's passing the other on the grade up to CA 203.
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