Traffic flowing through "Braided Ramps"

For commuters it seems like Fresno's "Braided Ramps" freeway project has been going on forever, but the actual highway construction started only one year ago.
March 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
For commuters it seems like Fresno's "Braided Ramps" freeway project has been going on forever, but the actual highway construction started only one year ago. And Captain Dave Paris of the Highway Patrol notes, it hasn't been easy.

Paris said, "We had a significant increase during construction once the construction began to impact the 180 our accident picture went through the roof."

In fact there were nearly 400 traffic accidents on Highway 180 during the project. But the work is now just about done, some touch up work will be done at night, but the ramps and lanes are as they have been planned, and construction engineer Dan Ladd says it's safer, and faster than it was before the project started.

Ladd explained, "It's always been a crazy mad dash of people cutting each other off and the braided ramps I feel does a really good job of sorting the traffic out and eliminating the collision conflicts that existed there before."

Drivers, like Sarah Soghomonian have seen the improvement. "So I take the 180 every day to and from work, and I have noticed the 180 portion is moving a lot better than it was 6 months ago, but the part if you are trying to take the 168 to get to Clovis I've noticed a major backup."

That backup has just been eased by opening a second lane on the 180 to the 168 ramp toward Clovis. Paris says the big problem now, is figuring it all out.

"Things should be better I think the biggest thing will be for people to have to readjust because there is a realignment on how you access 41 and 180 to 168 and how you access 168 from 180 so people are going to have to pay attention," said Paris. "You may miss your ramp and come up to Peach or make a u turn and come back but you will eventually get accustomed to it and it will be a smoother transition for everyone."

The official ribbon cutting for the $50 million project is set to take place later this month, when all the of the cleanup work is completed.


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