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Event celebrates new Kiernan interchange in Salida

The new Highway 99 southbound onramp at Kiernan Avenue is pictured Monday afternoon (06-20-16) in Salida, Calif. The project provides extra room for entering and exiting traffic and a wider Kiernan bridge that includes a foot and bike path.
The new Highway 99 southbound onramp at Kiernan Avenue is pictured Monday afternoon (06-20-16) in Salida, Calif. The project provides extra room for entering and exiting traffic and a wider Kiernan bridge that includes a foot and bike path. jlee@modbee.com

Leaders on Monday celebrated a new Highway 99 interchange at Kiernan Avenue that helps big rigs, bicycles and other vehicles get where they’re going.

The $42 million project, built over three years, provides extra room for entering and exiting traffic and a wider Kiernan bridge that includes a bike path.

The state covered $33.4 million of the cost from a bond measure approved by voters in 2006. Stanislaus County provided the rest via fees on developers.

The ribbon-cutting for the already-open interchange took place at the Salida Fire Protection District, at the northwest corner.

For our economy to work in our county, it’s all about infrastructure.

Terry Withrow, county supervisor

About 250,000 vehicles travel this part of Highway 99 on an average day, up from about 180,000 in 1993, said Dennis Agar, district director for the California Department of Transportation. About 10 percent are commercial trucks, some of them serving food processors and other businesses in the county.

“For our economy to work in our county, it’s all about infrastructure,” county Supervisor Terry Withrow said.

The interchange serves residents, businesses and visitors to Salida and north Modesto, as well as people taking Kiernan, also known as state Highway 209, toward Riverbank and Oakdale. It ties in with a $101 million widening of Kiernan between Sisk Road and McHenry Avenue, completed last year.

A new interchange at Highway 99 and Pelandale Avenue, a mile south of Kiernan, is scheduled for completion next year at a cost of $62 million.

Construction on the Kiernan interchange started in April 2013 and finished on time and within budget. It was built by O.C. Jones & Sons of Berkeley on a design by the county and Rajappan & Meyer Engineering of San Jose.

John Holland: 209-578-2385

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