Funding approved to widen deadly stretch of Highway 41 between Fresno and Kings Counties

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Transportation Commission has voted to approve funding that will widen a dangerous stretch of Highway 41 in Fresno County.

In Fresno County, Highway 41 narrows down to one lane in each direction for a six-mile stretch between Elkhorn Avenue and Excelsior Avenue.

Data shows that fatal crashes in that small section accounted for 35 percent of all deadly crashes on the highway in Fresno County from December 2011 to January 2020.

On Wednesday, the state voted to approve $33 million in funding to close the gap. That money is on top of $13 million of local Measure C dollars and $17.2 million of Caltrans funds already committed to the project.

Construction on the project between Elkhorn and Excelsior Avenues is expected to start in summer 2025.

"This incomplete section of highway has been dangerous for drivers and too many lives have been lost. Completion of State Route 41 will save lives for decades to come," says Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes.

In recent years, there have been grassroots effort to pressure the state to widen Highway 41. The effort has largely been led by a group of Valley residents who started a Widen Highway 41 Facebook page in November 2020 after back-to-back fatal accidents killed Ken Atkins and Joel Carrillo.
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