New water project will make getting down one of Fresno's busiest streets a struggle

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Construction has been underway since May from Blackstone to Palm on McKinely. Now the work placing water pipe underground shifts east, from Fresno to Blackstone on McKinley.

"Commuters can expect to be detoured through that zone. There will be no through traffic permitted, but access to businesses will be maintained," said Michael Carbajal, City of Fresno.

Drivers who need to get from Blackstone to Fresno will be detoured north to Clinton Avenue. It is not good news for businesses like Super Stereo, which rely on drive by traffic and has already seen a drop in business since preliminary work started.

"We are hurting; right now my shop should be full of cars for tinted windows. We do a lot of tinted windows and stereos and alarms, and when you tell them, you know what, you can't come on McKinley because it's blocked customers going to go somewhere else," said Susan Burgo, Super Stereo.

It is also going to make getting to Fresno city college more of a hassle.

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"We know that traffic congestion at the college is difficult, especially at the beginning of the semester. So we want people to be aware its happening so that they can plan it within their day to get here," said Kathy Bonilla, Fresno City College.

The school will operate a shuttle from the parking lot behind Ratcliff Stadium and is encouraging students to park there.

In addition to construction on McKinely, Palm between McKinely and H Street will be torn up until November. Crews are installing 13 miles of new water lines from the southeast water treatment plant now under construction.

"We recognize it will really be a short term impact, that will benefit the city in the long run by supplying surface water to our customers, allow the city to shut off groundwater wells, and preserve our water resources going forward," said Carbajal.

So the advice is if you need to avoid McKinely between Blackstone and Fresno, you can use Clinton or Olive instead. But businesses on McKinely will be open and accessible, you just won't be able to drive all the way through.
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