Study session on Highway 190 improvements Dec. 11
A study session to discuss future improvements along the corridor that connects Porterville to the Sequoia National Forest on the east and to Highway 99 on the west will take place Tuesday, Dec. 11.
For the past 18 months, city officials have been working with the Tulare County Association of Governments and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to evaluate a potential alignment plan and related improvements along Highway 190, between Westwood Street and Reservation Road.
The $1 million corridor study was funded by cost-savings from the city’s $1.7 million Scranton Avenue and Indiana Street reconstruction project. Porterville City Manager John Lollis said the study is currently in a final draft form.
The purpose of the Dec. 11 study session is to inform the Porterville City Council and the public of what has been discussed thus far and to receive input on the next steps to be taken.
Lollis said the city will provide poster-board drawings depicting potential improvements on the approximate eight-mile stretch of highway.
He said the council will be looking at “the different options, whether they be short-term or long-term, along the Highway 190 corridor, of all the interchanges, and what are the improvements that would be necessary as this area grows.”
Alternatives include interchanges at six major intersections in town, including Westwood Street and Highway 190, Main Street and Highway 190 and Highway 65 and Highway 190.
In the past, city officials have said the two remaining segments of the Main Street interchange are primary focuses of the study and with the financial support of Measure R regional funds, the project could break ground by 2015.
Lollis said the upcoming study session will begin a process of programming how these potential improvements will occur.
“Some of them are going to be more currently necessary, for example, the full interchange at Westwood and 190 is not going to be a currently necessary improvement, it’s a future improvement. But there may be an interchange at Hillcrest,” he said. “That will all be part of deliberation.”
Whether currently necessary or not, “eventually, all these things are going to have to happen based on traffic counts and development,” Lollis added.
Lollis said the study was spurred by the availability of funds.
“We have funds that are coming — these aren’t just wild dreams,” he said, noting money is coming from the state level and from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax approved by Tulare County voters in 2006.
The public is encouraged to attend. The meeting is set to take place at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Community Room on the second floor of the Porterville City Library, 41 W. Thurman Ave.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.