Ground broken on final phase of Veterans Boulevard Project in northwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Drive time in northwest Fresno is about to get shorter.

Crews will begin to break ground on the final phase of construction of Veterans Boulevard - a five-phase project first conceptualized in 1984.

Mayor Jerry Dyer announced the success of the project including the synergy of all agencies involved as well as acquiring Measure C, federal and state funding.

He says, "It goes to show people we're resilient. We don't give up. There were many naysayers that said this would never happen."

That final piece of funding -- acquired in December of last year.

Mayor Dyer says, "People aren't going to have to wait for trains, wait for traffic and this is going to be a thoroughfare people will appreciate for years to come."

Cal Trans District 6 Director, Diana Gomez adds, "Everyone coming together to get this done, it's incredible. It just talks about our partnerships that we have with Fresno County, City of Fresno and the State."

Right now, depending on traffic and time of day, it could take 20 minutes to get from east to west or west to east.

Veterans Boulevard will go over the railroad tracks, High-Speed Rail and Highway 99 and serve as an interchange.

Gomez says, "Now, they're going to have another interchange between Shaw and Herndon and really help alleviate the traffic on those two city streets and create another direct connect to 99."

This project is more than a shorter commute; it means job creation and enhances the quality of life for those who not only live in the area but those work and shop here too.

Over the last two years, the area has seen a number of new homes on both sides of 99 in addition to new retail and dining options in the shopping center at Herndon and Riverside.

A grade separation on Veterans Boulevard means access to those is also extended to pedestrians and bikes.

If all goes according to plan, we can be driving, walking or biking this by the end of next year.
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