Two more road closures in downtown Fresno are likely to make it more difficult for drivers to reach businesses in the city’s historic Chinatown district during high-speed-rail construction.
Kern Street was permanently closedbetween G and H streets starting , according to Tutor Perini / Zachry / Parsons, the prime contractor building a 32-mile section of the bullet-train line in Fresno and Madera counties. Contractors will close nearby Ventura Street, two blocks south of Kern, between G and H streets starting on Dec. 21. (UPDATE: The Ventura closure was delayed. The high-speed rail contractor announced Tuesday, Dec. 26 that the closure will begin in mid-January.)
Both of those closures are in addition to the closure last month of Tulare Street, one block north of Kern. The Tulare and Ventura closures are for crews to replace at-grade crossings of the Union Pacific Railroad freight tracks with new underpasses that will carry traffic under the freight tracks and the future high-speed train tracks. The California High-Speed Rail Authority estimates that it could take up to two years to build the underpasses.
The Kern Street crossing will be closed and will not be reopened.
Drivers heading west on Ventura Street from downtown will be detoured north onto Broadway Street, west onto Mono Street, then south onto F Street and back to Ventura. Eastbound traffic on Ventura will be detoured onto F, Mono and Broadway and back to Ventura.