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24th Street widening project now underway after years of litigation

Project aimed at reducing traffic
Posted: 5:53 PM, Oct 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-26 00:53:10Z

The 24th Street widening finally project broke ground Thursday, October 25, 2018. 

The $31.5 million construction project is being funded through tax payer dollars.

One lane will be added to each side on 24th Street from the CA-99 to M Street. More lanes and turn lanes will also be added to the intersection of Oak and 24th Streets. 

Officials say this will help to reduce traffic and congestion in the heavily traveled area. 

"There are thousands of people who use this everyday. It is essential that we make improvements that have been needed for 30 years," said Bakersfield City Councilman Andrae Gonzalez. 

The project faced delays due to years of litigation. In order to expand 24th Street, more than 20 homes had to be demolished.

This prompted pushback from locals, following a lawsuit from Westchester residents claiming environmental concerns of the project. The court in the end sided with the City of Bakersfield. 

Construction is expected to last 14 months. In addition to new lanes, two new islands will be created as part of a beautification phase of the project. 

One will be on 24th Street from Beech to Elm Streets, another will be on C and B Streets.