Good news for Fresno drivers as road closures due to High Speed Rail construction cause delays

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Clinton overpass in Central Fresno has been shut down for months, as part of the Highway 99 realignment project to make way for the High Speed Rail.

Central Valley drivers are ready for it all to come to an end, especially area businesses like Diciccos Italian Restaurant. Lewis Lynn, a delivery driver, said the Clinton closure adds about five minutes each way and sometimes up to 15 minutes if he gets stopped at train tracks.

We asked Lynn what the average amount of extra time his deliveries take with the detours, and he said he spends about one extra hour of driving every shift.

"There are trains on McKinley where I could avoid on Clinton if the overpass was still there, so I'm really excited for it to open again."

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, or the overpass, Caltrans said they are expecting to open Clinton at the end of October. Even with some minor setbacks-- like April's rainfall and soil issues-- they said they are making up time by having contractors work extended hours and nights.

Caltrans PIO Sam Yniguez said, "We'll be doing bridge work, electrical, some retaining walls, as well as roadwork, all simultaneously, whereas, before, that wasn't the original plan just to make up some of that time."

Caltrans said it is not just the reopening they are looking forward to-- they said moving the 99 will improve traffic congestion, and make the road safer. And for that-- most drivers are willing to wait.

"Yes it's affecting me, but it's not that big of a deal because it will be nicer when it gets done," said Frank Ruiz, driver.

Caltrans said the northbound off ramp is expected to open about a week after the Clinton overpass opens-- but southbound will stay closed for another two to three months.
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