New Pelandale onramp set to open

09/04/2014 3:24 PM

09/05/2014 12:01 AM

Modesto’s $54.76 million project to replace the Pelandale Avenue-Highway 99 interchange could reach a milestone Friday with the opening of a new northbound highway onramp.

The ramp replaces the one construction workers closed three weeks ago, forcing drivers to use the highway onramps at Kiernan and Standiford avenues. The onramp is expected to open Friday , as long as a new highway auxiliary lane between the two interchanges opens.

The lane from the Pelandale interchange to the one at Kiernan will serve cars getting on and off the freeway between the two interchanges. Stanislaus County is upgrading the Kiernan interchange, and the auxiliary lane is being built by the city and county.

Modesto is replacing the congested, outmoded Pelandale interchange that was built in 1970 – when Modesto’s population was a third of what it is today – with a new overpass and new on- and offramps. The project is expected to wrap up in early 2017 with a ribbon cutting, but the new six-lane overpass is expected to open next summer, replacing the existing three-lane overpass.

Modesto officials say this is the biggest transportation project in city history, and it has caused traffic headaches for motorists. But city officials say the new interchange will reduce congestion.

The project is being funded through $45.4 million from the state, $2.65 million from the federal government, $147,000 in fees Stanislaus County collected to offset the effects of new development and $6.56 million from the city, with nearly all of that from fees collected for new development.

More information about the project, including road closures and detours, is available at www.sr99pelandale.org. Motorists can sign up at the website to receive email alerts regarding the project.

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