City leaders working to reduce traffic near trains in central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Twenty-nine trains travel through the intersection of Blackstone and McKinley in central Fresno every day.

City leaders are now working to reduce traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety in the area by moving the train tracks and taking trains over the two major thoroughfares.

"This project, when complete, would create separate grades allowing traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, to flow underneath the BNSF tracks," says Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.

The Grade Separation Project is extremely complicated and expensive.

The estimated $85 million price tag would be paid for with Measure C money, according to Mayor Jerry Dyer

"I assure you that we're going to do everything we can to minimize traffic disruptions, but a project of this magnitude is going to have significant delays once construction occurs," he said.

But that's still a couple of years away.

Friday's announcement was made to make residents and businesses in the area aware of the extensive work that will need to get done prior to the start of construction -- that includes utility relocation.

"Moving things like moving electric, moving gas, moving water lines to clear the way and make the grade separation feasible," says Fresno Public Works Director Scott Mozier.

Because the city will need to create space for the project, some businesses may be forced to move.

"Informal or formal communication with businesses that are potentially going to be impacted and some of those businesses, unfortunately, are going to have to be relocated and we'll continue to do that over the coming months," Dyer said.

City leaders say construction on the grade separation will begin in the Fall of 2024 -- with completion set three years later.
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