New lanes on Highway 99 in Chico now open

Sep 4, 2014 8:19 PM

"The new posted speed limit is 60 miles per hour." says California Highway Patrol Officer Adriana Warner.

The Highway 99 Chico Auxiliary Lane Project construction is now over.

"There is three lanes on this section of the highway and there are shoulders now." adds Warner. "That section of the freeway is a lot safer now it makes it a lot easier for people to merge on and off traffic."

Caltrans, city, and county officials announced completion of the project which is designed to make the route safer.

"It is something that was needed for plenty years. It is actually a design that decided upon in 1999." says Chico Vice Mayor Mark Sorensen.

The project added auxiliary lanes for roughly a mile stretch both north and south between 1st Avenue and Highway 32. The lanes will help reduce traffic congestion. One Chico resident says she has already noticed the difference.

"It is nice to have it finished at least the exits aren't blocked and we aren't having to detour it." says Mariah Parks.

According to Caltrans 70,000 vehicles travel this stretch of Highway 99 everyday. The other noticeable addition is the decorated sound walls. Some question if they're worth it.

"It is better I don't know if it was what we expected or not but it has made a difference." says Chico resident Chuck Fullmer.

"I just still don't see the point in the wall, that is all." says Parks.

Chuck Fullmer lives right next to the highway. He says everyone is probably happy with one thing, that it is finished.

"I am happy it is all over with, the noise at night was something else."

The project cost nearly $38 million . a majority of the funding came from proposition 1B. Butte County and the City of Chico were partners on the project.


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