FRESNO COUNTY, California (KSEE) – Changes are coming to Highway 41 in Fresno County after a number of deadly accidents. Local and state officials announced plans Wednesday to make the highway safer between Elkhorn and Excelsior avenues.
State Assemblymember Jim Patterson says this stretch of highway will soon no longer be a passing zone. Fresno County statistics reveal 260 accidents in 260 weeks in that area.
“We have family members who have lost loved ones and have been brokenhearted by the tragedies along this stretch,” said Patterson.
A local Facebook group called “Widen 41” voiced their concerns over the last few months that safety measures need to be taken. Those concerns were finally heard.
“We’re here to report progress, this is a step in the right direction, this section is now going to be a no-passing zone, the striping is going to be laid down,” Patterson said.
Caltrans says work will begin next Tuesday.
“During the closure, our striping crews will begin performing the tasks of eliminating the current center line and then placing double yellow stripes in the middle of the highway,” said Caltrans District 6 Director Diana Gomez.
The change is permanent. Patterson wants drivers to pay attention to the signs.
“You’re going to save your own life, but you’re going to save others as well.”
Patterson also wants the stretch to expand to four-lanes – and then add barriers down the middle.
The cost of the project is around $50 million, but those who lost their loved ones on that part of Highway 41 say it’s worth it.