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Sunday, Feb 24 2013 06:00 PM

Ask The Californian: Will the Westside Parkway be numbered like other freeways?

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Concrete pumpers apply concrete to the two-lane bridge that passes over the Kern River, which will eventually carry westbound traffic from Truxtun Avenue onto the Westside Parkway. The bridge is 773-feet long and 38-feet wide.

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By The Bakersfield Californian

Q: I've noticed in some stories there doesn't seem to be a highway number associated with the future Westside Parkway (i.e. Interstate 5, State Route 99, U.S. Route 395, etc.)

Will there be a new number? I may assume a three-digit one like State Route 204, if there are perhaps more than 200 state highways. Or will it be 58, as the new freeway connects with the existing 58/99 junction? Could this mean Rosedale Highway will be stripped of its state highway status? And what would also be the fate of State Route 58 west of State Route 43?

-- Keith Pangilinan

 

A: Janet Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Thomas Roads Improvement Program, fielded this one:

The Westside Parkway, from Truxtun Avenue to Stockdale Highway/Heath Road, will be a city-owned and operated facility when it first opens later this year. Route numbers are assigned by the state or federal governments for highway and freeway facilities they operate and maintain, so initially there will not be any number associated with the Westside Parkway freeway.

Caltrans is the lead agency for the proposed Centennial Corridor project, which would link State Route 58 east of State Route 99 with the Westside Parkway freeway at Truxtun Avenue.

The Centennial Corridor project would be an extension of State Route 58; so upon approval, this project along with the Westside Parkway would become the new alignment for State Route 58, and the Westside Parkway would become part of the state-owned and operated freeway system.

West of Heath Road, the westerly terminus of the Westside Parkway freeway, traffic would use Stockdale Highway to access Interstate 5; and so along with the Westside Parkway, this portion of Stockdale Highway would then also become designated as State Route 58.

The portion of existing State Route 58 (Rosedale Highway) between Mohawk Street and Allen Road is already operated and maintained by either the city or the county. This portion of the roadway was previously relinquished by Caltrans to the city and county to facilitate the TRIP project to widen Rosedale Highway.

But even with that relinquishment, this portion of the roadway currently remains identified as State Route 58, so there is not any confusion to the traveling public.

Once the Westside Parkway and Stockdale Highway are designated as State Route 58, the remaining un-relinquished portions of the current alignment of State Route 58 between State Route 99 and Interstate 5 would then also become city- and county-operated and maintained roadways (except for the short north-south segment of roadway that State Routes 58 and 43 share, which would remain under state jurisdiction as State Route 43).

Ask The Californian appears on Mondays. Submit questions to asktbc@bakersfield.com or to The Bakersfield Californian, c/o Christine Bedell, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302.

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