When you drive down Willow Avenue and Nees Avenue in Northeast Fresno you know it can take a long time. Traffic in that area is just a mess nearly every day. So, why has it taken so long for the city to fix it? KMPH Fox26 News investigated and found out why.
It turns out that the intersection has needed repairs for years. However, there is one reason why Willow and Nees hasn't been fixed. It's because the city didn't have access to several acres of property it needed to expand both streets. After KMPH Fox 26 News started digging into this story a few weeks ago we got some good news. We were told construction would start soon and it has.
"This is one of our highest traffic congestion relief projects citywide. So, it's quite significant," says Fresno Public Works Director Scott Mozier.
Nees Avenue will be widened to two lanes from Northside Church to Willow Avenue.
Willow Avenue from Alluvial all the way up to International Avenue is also going to be widened to three lanes on each side of the street.
PG&E" has already started work moving power lines underground, but Mozier says the traffic is going to get worse, before it gets better.
"There will be a fair amount of traffic," says Mozier, "We do have to go through some short term inconvenience for that long term gain and significant improvement."
PG&E will continue its work out there until this summer and then road crews will start tearing up the streets. The project won't be ready until about a year from now.
The widening project on Willow and Nees will cost $3 million-dollars. The money is coming from federal grants, Measure "C" tax dollars, and developer fees.