Construction project will close part of Hwy 41 in Fresno for next 8 weekends

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- You may have seen the neon orange signs that warn of an upcoming project that will shut down part of State Route 41 for 55 hours for the next eight weekends.

Construction will start each Friday at 10 pm, and the plan is to have the cones picked up in time for each Monday morning commute at 5 am.

Caltrans says the weekend pain will pay off in the long run.

"They actually end up saving 145 working construction days and reduce lane closures from 165 to only 20 days," said Caltrans District 6 public information officer, Elizabeth Yelton.

The southbound closures will take place during the first four weekends of construction.

RELATED: First weekend of Hwy 41 construction could impact traffic to Valley weekend events

To get around, drivers can take State Route 180 west, to State Route 99, back to 41 south.

The Tulare and O Street exits will remain open.

Without traffic, the detour adds six minutes to your drive, but with everyone squeezing into fewer lanes, expect delays.

RELATED: First weekend of Hwy 41 construction could impact traffic to Valley weekend events

"We share in that frustration because it not only affects the commuters, it affects the emergency responses in the area," said California Highway Patrol officer Michael Salas.

The California Highway Patrol will have extra officers patrolling the area.

"Plan accordingly, plan alternate routes," Salas said.

The improvement project includes rehabbing a bridge deck and making the roadway safer.

"We would be grinding all lanes of traffic, and then we would fix any unsound surface, placing a polyester riding surface, extending the life of structure at least 20 years," Yelton said.

The longer shifts aren't just for efficiency, they will make for a smoother ride.

"That allows the contractor to place all of the polyester concrete overlay in one operation instead of having to stop every night, you get construction joints, there's an inherent bump in every stop-start operation, so the ride quality will improve," Yelton said.

Crews will also use the time to do any graffiti, debris and litter removal, as well as any necessary landscaping.

Southbound closures will happen on these weekends: September 20-23, September 27-30, October 4-7, and October 11-14.

Northbound closures will happen on these weekends: October 18-21, October 25-28, November 1-4, and November 15-18.

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