Commuters take note: There are some major changes coming to Clovis roadways this summer.
Starting in May, the city will begin work on three improvement projects.
Commuters will see wider lanes along Willow Avenue, a new signal light at Shepherd and Minnewawa avenues, and a roundabout at Temperance Avenue near Highway 168.
“All three of these projects have been implemented for future growth in the area,” said Kevin Gross, a project engineer with the city’s Department of Planning and Development Services.
They also help meet current needs, Gross said, especially at the Shepherd and Minnewawa intersection, which is underdeveloped for the amount of traffic it sees.
Ask anyone who has driven through during rush hour.
The projects are the fruition of close to a decade’s worth of planning, Gross said.
Willow Avenue widening
The city has been working with the city and county of Fresno for close to 10 years on widening Willow Avenue, using funds from Measure C. The project will add two additional northbound lanes from Shepherd Avenue past International Avenue. There will also be an eight-foot shoulder, raised median and street lighting.
At the same time, the city will be constructing sewer and water infrastructure north into the Heritage Grove Community.
The project should start in June and run through the end of the year. There will be some road closures and delays during construction, but it will be kept to a minimum, Gross said.
“Being able to keep traffic flowing is vital to us,” he said.
“We don’t want to close down Willow.”
Shepherd and Minnewawa signal light
Currently, there is a four-way stop at Shepherd and Minnewawa avenues.
It will be replaced by a traffic signal.
The $550,000 project is being paid for by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds and will be completed by September. It will not impact the historical Garfield School monument, where a city park will be constructed in the future.
This roundabout project is designed to mitigate traffic concerns near the intersection of Alluvial and Temperance avenues, especially as it relates to the westbound off-ramp of Highway 168.
Caltrans fears that increased traffic from the Research and Technology Business Park may impede access to the freeway.
The current traffic signals will removed and replaced with a multi-lane roundabout that will keep traffic flowing. Construction on the $1.95 million project will begin in May and should last through the end of the year.
For its part, the city has been aggressive in its public outreach about the projects and released an informational video on social media this week. Yes, the information is important so people can plan accordingly and find alternative routes when needed.
“Partly it’s to bring excitement about what is to come in our growing city,” Gross said. “Upon the completion of the projects we expect people to be very happy with the results.”