High-speed rail work closes tracks and roads in the Fresno, California area


Traffic control performed during construction on Ventura Street at F Street, March 25, 2021, in preparation for the closure of Ventura between Broadway and F Streets, from April 26, 2021 to 2022. An underpass will be constructed on Ventura under the Union Pacific railroad tracks near Fresno’s Chinatown as part of the state’s high-speed rail project.

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Ongoing construction on the California High-Speed ​​Railroad through the Central San Joaquin Valley is creating road and lane closures in Fresno that drivers may want to avoid in the weeks and months ahead.

In downtown Fresno, the biggest disruptions remain the complete closures of Ventura Street and Tulare Street for the construction of new underpasses to carry traffic on both routes not only under future high-speed rail lines, but also under existing Union Pacific Railroad freight tracks.

Tulare Street has been closed between F and G streets since May 2021, and nearby China Alley is closed just south of Tulare Street. According to the California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority and Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, the agency’s prime contractor for work in the Fresno area, work at this site should be complete by the end of March. .

A few blocks south, Ventura Street has been completely closed between F and H streets since last May, and work on this underpass is expected to continue through the end of 2022.

Elsewhere along or near Fresno’s northwest railroad to downtown, it’s not construction on the high-speed rail line itself that’s forcing road or lane closures, but works to relocate utilities such as telephone, cable, and power lines that are disrupted or relocated. These sites include:

  • Thorne Avenue, lane closures between Napa and Nielsen Avenues, east of Highway 99 and north of Highway 180. This work began Feb. 21 and will continue through March 4.
  • Shaw and Cornelia Avenues northwest of Fresno, where Cornelia Avenue is closed between Shaw and Santa Ana Avenues, with lane closures on Shaw between Forestiere Avenue and Golden State Boulevard. Work began on February 22 and will continue until March 17.
  • Weber and Herndon Avenues northwest of Fresno, where Weber Avenue is closed between Herndon and Farrington Street. Work began on February 1 and continues until March 18.
  • Golden State Boulevard and Kathryn Avenue, north of Herndon Avenue northwest of Fresno, where Kathryn Avenue is closed south of Golden State. Work began on January 10 and continues until March 22.
  • Shaw and Jennifer avenues, east of Golden State Boulevard northwest of Fresno. Jennifer Avenue is closed between Shaw and Gates Avenues, and Shaw Avenue has lane closures between Jennifer and El Capitan Avenues. Work began on February 14 and continues until April 25.
  • Golden State Boulevard south of Shaw Avenue northwest of Fresno. There are multiple lane closures along Golden State between Shaw and Swift Avenues, and Richert Avenue is closed west of Golden State. Work began on February 16 and continues until May 27.

Signs are in place on all construction sites to guide motorists in the sector or direct them to detours around the work. At most sites, access is maintained for owners and businesses, according to the railway authority.

More information on road closures in Fresno and Fresno counties, and elsewhere along the road in Madera, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties, is available online at BuildHSR.com.

Lifelong Valley resident Tim Sheehan has worked as a reporter and editor in the area since 1986 and has worked for The Fresno Bee since 1998. He is currently The Bee’s data reporter and also covers the California High Speed ​​Rail Project and other transportation issues. He grew up in Madera, has a degree in journalism from Fresno State and a master’s degree in leadership studies from Fresno Pacific University.
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Jose P. Rogers