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Author Topic: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198  (Read 3440 times)

andy3175

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Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« on: March 16, 2016, 01:42:57 AM »

This article has more to do with California's transportation funding crisis and the lack of a transportation sales tax in Kings County, but I found it interesting for proposing four-lane extensions to existing freeways on SR 41 and SR 198, as well as freeway (or at least four-lane expressway) expansion for the northernmost portion of SR 43.

http://hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/road-map-for-the-future/article_f1222a8e-17e1-11e3-9878-001a4bcf887a.html

Quote
On the four-lane wish list: Highway 43 from Selma to Corcoran; Highway 41 from Lemoore to Kettleman City and Highway 198 from Naval Air Station Lemoore to Interstate 5. That’s a 20-year wish list totaling approximately $1.2 billion — a rough figure based on the $101 million total cost for the 7-mile Highway 198 expansion between Hanford and Highway 99. ...

The issue of Kings County’s relative lack of transportation interconnectivity has recently come up in relation to the “Amazon effect,” or the need for growing Internet-based retailers to build distribution warehouses in California close to population centers. Developers are eyeing Kings because of its strategic Bay Area-Los Angeles midway point, but they are put off by the lack of freeway access to Interstate 5.

So what about passing a local transportation sales tax? According to King, counties that have enacted transportation taxes — Measure C in Fresno County has delivered more than $1 billion in road improvement projects — pull down far more money in state and federal matching grants than counties without transportation taxes. Tulare County also has a transportation tax. But Kings County voters have little interest in putting a transportation tax on the ballot, according to Larry Spikes, county administrative officer.



Read the comments at the bottom for some reaction to the freeway proposals.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 09:01:44 PM by andy3175 »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2016, 09:17:37 AM »

None of these need to be upgraded to full freeway status, especially 198 west to I-5....there is barely any traffic out there at all.  41 from downtown Fresno to 198 just needs to eliminate some traffic lights and blow the last four lane section out to four lanes to make it sufficient, two lanes is fine south of 198.  They are on crack trying to do any with 43, I could see an occasional four lane section but not a freeway.

mrsman

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 05:22:33 PM »

None of these need to be upgraded to full freeway status, especially 198 west to I-5....there is barely any traffic out there at all.  41 from downtown Fresno to 198 just needs to eliminate some traffic lights and blow the last four lane section out to four lanes to make it sufficient, two lanes is fine south of 198.  They are on crack trying to do any with 43, I could see an occasional four lane section but not a freeway.

I agree.  CA is one of the best places to demonstrate high quality highways that aren't freeways.  Look at most of 101 between San Jose and Ventura and 99 between Stockton and Bakersfield.  There are a lot of sections of road that aren't fully grade separated freeways, but there are no lights, minimal intersections, no direct business access, all while maintaining 4 lanes and at least a 65 MPH speed limit on the entire section.  That should be the goal for these other roads.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 05:31:08 PM »

The biggest problem on the two lane sections of 41, 43 and 198 is that the speed limit is way too slow at 55 MPH.  Basically if it was cranked up to 60 or even 65 MPH they would make for improved through ways.  I really don't get what they are edging at with 43...that blows my mind that is even a thought.  41 from 198 north is the only section listed that needs any improvement at all...198 from Hanford to Visalia is a perfect example of a US 101 style expressway that you just described.  I just don't see much of a traffic justification for improvements on the scale that Amazon wants.  There are plenty of trucks that already use these roads and they seem to get by just fine.  There is also a huge number of county roads with 55 MPH speed limits that greatly reduce the commercial loads on 41, 43 and 198.

andy3175

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 12:28:04 AM »

I agree.  CA is one of the best places to demonstrate high quality highways that aren't freeways.  Look at most of 101 between San Jose and Ventura and 99 between Stockton and Bakersfield. 

99 between Bakersfield and Sacramento is gradually becoming full freeway with a planned minimum of six lanes throughout. As a result, most of the former expressway sections have been under construction for freeway expansion in recent years.

101 retains several expressway sections, and I am not aware of a unified corridor effort to convert all remaining expressway sections to freeway. Having said that, some notable expressway segments such as the one at Prunedale have been undergoing freeway improvements.
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mrsman

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 12:44:29 AM »

I agree.  CA is one of the best places to demonstrate high quality highways that aren't freeways.  Look at most of 101 between San Jose and Ventura and 99 between Stockton and Bakersfield. 

99 between Bakersfield and Sacramento is gradually becoming full freeway with a planned minimum of six lanes throughout. As a result, most of the former expressway sections have been under construction for freeway expansion in recent years.

101 retains several expressway sections, and I am not aware of a unified corridor effort to convert all remaining expressway sections to freeway. Having said that, some notable expressway segments such as the one at Prunedale have been undergoing freeway improvements.

Of course individual grade crossing eliminations should be considered as traffic increases in an area.   But that is a far cry from suggesting that the full 101 should be freeway from LA to SF.  The existing expressway sections are very cost-effective and also effective at moving the traffic in the area.

It has been a long time since I took the 99.  But back in the late 90's when I drove it fairly regularly, the expressway portions were more of less unnoticeable.  As you drove them, you maintained full freeway speed, even though there were some grade crossings.
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coatimundi

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 02:36:32 AM »

101 retains several expressway sections, and I am not aware of a unified corridor effort to convert all remaining expressway sections to freeway. Having said that, some notable expressway segments such as the one at Prunedale have been undergoing freeway improvements.

The 101 changes through Prunedale are mostly complete. There are now still grade intersections, but no crossovers between the end of the expressway section north of Salinas, and CA 156 east, with the exception of Rocks Road (the eucalyptus grove), which I don't think is going away. So I don't know what I'd call that. "Pretend freeway"?
The expressway section just north of that, between CA 129 and Monterey Road in Gilroy, has not had any improvements, but is a truly dangerous stretch of road, mostly because of commuter traffic from Hollister merging from CA 25, and farm traffic that uses the side roads still accessed by grade intersections. That section is slated for improvement by, of all organizations, Valley Transit Authority, but is as of yet unfunded. They're trying to get Caltrans to (rightfully, I think) pay for it. The corridor is just sub-standard for the traffic it receives and is quickly deteriorating.

Of these, I think 198 is the only one that really makes sense because it provides a connector between I-5 and CA 99, but I think it just needs to be an expressway, if that. Really all that needs to be done is improvements to the I-5 interchange, improvements (probably an interchange) at CA 269, and removing the San Joaquin Valley Railroad crossing just west of the freeway's end.

I mean, a freeway to Corcoran? Is that really necessary?
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Bickendan

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 02:46:42 AM »

Probably not, but the red lines on the map (Thomas Guide symbology) do look nice...
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DTComposer

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2016, 04:58:56 PM »

Look at most of 101 between San Jose and Ventura

I'd estimate that less than 20% of US-101 is non-freeway in that stretch. As mentioned above, a major chunk of that (around Prunedale) is in the process of (or done with) freeway upgrades; the stretch around La Conchita (Ventura County) is, I believe, now upgraded to freeway, leaving two significant sections: the Cuesta Grade and Salinas to King City (which has freeway sections at Soledad, Gonzales and Greenfield). Driving US-101 probably a half-dozen times a year, I'd argue that it all indeed needs to be freeway, especially given the growth in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys.

As for the proposals at hand, I'd say CA-41 needs to be 4-lane expressway from CA-46 to CA-198, then freeway to Fresno. CA-198 would be fine as 4-lane expressway from Lemoore to I-5. CA-43 could be 4-lane expressway from CA-198 to Corcoran, but is fine as is from I-5 to CA-198.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2016, 10:39:14 PM »

Look at most of 101 between San Jose and Ventura

I'd estimate that less than 20% of US-101 is non-freeway in that stretch. As mentioned above, a major chunk of that (around Prunedale) is in the process of (or done with) freeway upgrades; the stretch around La Conchita (Ventura County) is, I believe, now upgraded to freeway, leaving two significant sections: the Cuesta Grade and Salinas to King City (which has freeway sections at Soledad, Gonzales and Greenfield). Driving US-101 probably a half-dozen times a year, I'd argue that it all indeed needs to be freeway, especially given the growth in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys.

As for the proposals at hand, I'd say CA-41 needs to be 4-lane expressway from CA-46 to CA-198, then freeway to Fresno. CA-198 would be fine as 4-lane expressway from Lemoore to I-5. CA-43 could be 4-lane expressway from CA-198 to Corcoran, but is fine as is from I-5 to CA-198.

The irony is that there is an older alignment of 41 between I-5 and CA 33 that is basically ready to go with a repave to widen out to four lanes if Caltrans ever took it back over.

BakoCondors

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Re: Central Valley Freeway Proposals: SR 41, SR 43, and SR 198
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 03:09:56 AM »

43...my daily commute partner.

Get that damned tractor off the road, ya jackwagon! :verymad:

43 between Shafter and Wasco (my hometown) in Kern County has been a four-lane divided highway for 35+ years. Moderate traffic, no congestion. From my experience driving the 43, the Selma-to-Corcoran segment would benefit from a four-lane expansion.
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