Crews work one of the Valley's busiest freeway interchanges

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Construction crews shut down part of the Highway 180 while they worked to open up a new stretch of road on the braided ramps project. People traveling on Westbound 180 saw several large signs announcing major changes over the weekend. For hours a portion of the freeway between 41 and 168 were closed and created confusion.

"It gets congested, it's an awful commute. It gets out of hand sometimes," Lauro Guerrero from Fresno said.

Congestion has been an ongoing problem on the 1.5 mile stretch of freeway. Caltrans says too many drivers are weaving through these lanes to merge onto other highways.

"Unfortunately that breaks down our capacity of our facility, people slow down and end up in accidents what this project will do when it's complete is eliminate all that weaving action," Neil Bretz with Caltrans said.

Starting Monday people driving on Westbound 168 will be able to avoid Highway 180 completely by using a new ramp to get on freeway 41. And if you're already on Highway 180 you will have the option of taking a connector that passes under the new bridge.

Workers are reminding people to be cautions with all the new changes.

"Drive with extreme caution, please pay attention to all the new road signs up. There is going to be new traffic patterns, "Bretz said.

The $49 million state funded project started last year and is expected to finish in the spring of 2014.

"Please be patient, we know it's a big inconvenience," Neil said.

Construction workers plan to make several more switches before their work is complete. Until then either avoid to area or just make sure you slow down.

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