Metropolitan Bakersfield’s transportation network is getting a much-needed upgrade, writes Janet Wheeler in the Kern Business Journal. Wheeler is the public outreach coordinator for the Thomas Road Improvement Program, a collaboration between federal and California highway agencies, and the City of Bakersfield and County of Kern.
“In the past five years, nine construction contracts have been awarded, totaling $215.3 million dollars,” Wheeler reports. “These projects include the construction of 23 bridges and 15 miles of new roadway. Five major road improvement projects have been completed and are now open to traffic, while construction continues on five miles of new roadway for the Westside Parkway.”
Most of the planned road improvements are the result of now retired 22nd District Congressman William M. Thomas’ successful efforts to secure $630 million for projects in metropolitan Bakersfield in the 2005 transportation bill, titled SAFETEA-LU.