Braided ramp project on Hwy 180 to ease traffic long-term

January 15, 2013 12:00:43 AM PST
Major construction is underway in Fresno. The braided ramp project on Highway 180, once completed, is designed to ease traffic in and out of Downtown Fresno.

Monday morning, Highway 180 was filled with its usual stream of cars.

Even with the braided ramp project underway and a reduced lane, the traffic flow didn't seem to slow.

Asstistant Project Manager Pat Hinterberger said, "So far this morning, there really hasn't been any backups. I think traffic is moving pretty smoothly along the area."

Hinterberger is overseeing the project which is designed to cut down on traffic congestion in Fresno.

Although Monday morning's commute went relatively smooth, drivers can expect some big changes over the coming nights.

"They'll expect some closures for the 41 connector ramps to eastbound and also right lane closure alongside eastbound 180," said Hinterberger.

Crews are installing ramps so drivers from the 41 and 168 can bypass the 180 altogether, making for a smoother commute, but everyone needs to pack extra patience on the roads.

From Monday to Thursday night, construction crews will do a lot of their heavy lifting in the dark from 10pm to 5am. Once they are finished on the eastbound lanes of the 180, which could take a couple of weeks, crews will then move to the westbound lanes of the 180. With so many changes, construction officials are urging drivers to pay close attention.

"Slow for the cone zone," Hinterberger said. "That keeps us safe and keeps you safe and we can get our job done."

Construction officials say although there may be some commuting issues now, it'll pay off in a smooth commute when the project is completed in the fall.