COMMUTER ALERT: Braided Ramps project enters new phase this weekend

FRESNO, Calif.

The westbound portion of Highway 180 will have an entirely different look. Drivers looking to get on Highway 41 will exit Highway 180 about a mile earlier, and traffic will not need to merge on highway 180 to connect with Highway 41.

Starting Friday at midnight, all westbound lanes of Highway 180 will close between Highways 168 and 41 as will a few on-ramps and connector ramps. The roadways will re-open with the new traffic patterns for the Monday morning commute.

Both the Highway Patrol and construction crews want drivers to proceed with caution as it will take a while to adjust to the new patterns.

"The only way you're going to get through this the new transition phase is to slow down and pay attention to the signs," said Capt. Dave Paris, CHP.

The Highway Patrol said there has been nearly 380 accidents since January of 2013. As the lane closures continue for the final phase of the project, the CHP urges drivers to use caution.

The entire project is expected to be complete by March. When it's finished, the $50 million braided ramps project will give Valley drivers a safer and easier commute.

Officials expect the project to accommodate the Valley's traffic for the next 20 years.

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