Tulare’s Paige Avenue project paves way for roadway expansion

Drivers navigate the busy HWY 99 interchange of Paige Avenue and Blackstone Street in Tulare.(Kenny Goodman)

State allocates $930 million for transportation upgrades, spotlighting Tulare’s $39 million interchange improvement initiative

TULARE — Tulare’s about to take a major detour towards progress with the revamp of its roads, courtesy of the a Paige Avenue Interchange Improvement Project.

This venture is part of a broader state commitment, funneling approximately $930 million into bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements across California over the next four years.

The Tulare project stands out as a pivotal element of the statewide initiative, designed to enhance goods movement and passenger travel along Highway 99 by expanding the roadway from four to six lanes. The comprehensive plan also includes the reconstruction of the Paige Avenue interchange, introducing roundabouts at Paige Avenue, Blackstone Street and Laspina Street to optimize traffic flow.

With a total budget of $39 million, the project is set to redefine local and regional connectivity, significantly benefiting Tulare’s community and economy.

Funding for these extensive transportation projects draws from a combination of federal and state sources, including nearly $375 million from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 and $276 million from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

Beyond the Tulare expansion, the statewide plan under the 2024 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) aims to add 265 miles of new and improved bike lanes and over 1,300 safety enhancements across California by mid-2028. This initiative is set to improve access and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, reflecting California’s broader vision for a more inclusive and diversified transportation network.

Caltrans Director Tony Tavares lauded the comprehensive approach to upgrading the state’s transportation landscape, highlighting the importance of accommodating a variety of transportation preferences.

“By investing in projects like the Tulare interchange and statewide bicycle and pedestrian paths, we are working towards a future where transportation infrastructure meets the needs of every Californian,” Tavares stated.

The Paige Avenue project represents a significant investment in the region’s future, promising enhanced traffic operations, safety, and accessibility for all road users. As the project unfolds, it symbolizes a key milestone in California’s ongoing efforts to modernize its transportation infrastructure for a more connected and sustainable tomorrow.

For more information on the Tulare project and other statewide transportation improvements funded by IIJA and SB 1, residents are encouraged to visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.

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