MODESTO — Modesto is holding a groundbreaking Wednesday for its $56.3 million project to replace the 44-year-old Pelandale Avenue interchange at Highway 99.
Officials say the new one will ease congestion, improve traffic safety and provide Modesto with an attractive, landscaped gateway into the city.
The public is invited to the ceremony, which starts at 11 a.m. at the northeast corner of Pelandale and Sisk Road. City officials say this is the largest transportation project in Modesto history. Construction is expected to start this month.
Traffic delays are inevitable, but it will be worthwhile once construction is completed and everyone is able to enjoy driving through an interchange built not only for today but also the future, city engineer Bill Sandhu said in a news release.
Modesto is working to reduce the impact to motorists through such measures as coordinating its Pelandale work with Stanislaus Countys project to upgrade the nearby Kiernan Avenue-Highway 99 interchange. Motorists also can sign up on the projects website www.sr99pelandale.org to receive alerts on the latest developments.
The news release says the project will be constructed in stages to minimize the effect on the community. Stage 1, approximately May to September, will include building temporary onramps and offramps to make way for the new interchange. Construction of all phases is expected to be completed in early 2017.
The project is primarily funded by state bond money and fees that Modesto collected from new development to mitigate traffic impacts. The city worked with the California Department of Transportation, Stanislaus County and the Stanislaus Council of Governments to secure funding and move the project forward.