State and local officials say it’s time to widen Highway 41

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Friday morning State Assemblymember Jim Patterson and Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes spoke out about the current dangers of Highway 41.

“There is a lot of opportunities that we have to make a difference and to press for a decision,” said Patterson. 

Patterson and Mendes said enough is enough and they want to work with state organizations to widen highway 41 which they think will make it less dangerous. 

“A lot of trucks on this road and people get behind the trucks and they don’t want to wait and there aren’t any signage that says in so many miles there’s another four lanes, so people are impatient and don’t want to wait,” said Mendes.

Mendes said since 2015 the amount of deadly accident along Highway 41 has doubled and just this year there has been four fatal accidents. 

Misty Atkins husband died in an accident on Highway 41 this past September. She said that day changed her life forever. 

“You get that sheriff at your door and discover your husband is never coming home,” said Atkins.

 Atkins said her husband’s death could have been avoided if the highway he was driving on was safer. 

After the death of her husband Atkins said other people who lost loved ones on that same highway reached out to her and together, they created a Facebook page called Widen Highway 41.

“It went from 1,500 now to over 4,000 and it’s all because everybody from the Central Valley takes that road,” said Atkins. 

Jim Patterson said he plans on making a difference short term and eventually long term. 

“We have traction now and we are being paid attention to now and the next step for me is to have a conversation next week with the director of Caltrans statewide and we are going to make the case,” said Patterson. 

According to Patterson, it would cost $50-60 million dollars to widen Highway 41 and it could be completed by 2025. 

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