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Few inconveniences yet with Whitmore project
So far so good.

The presence of construction crews working on the Whitmore overpass and interchange project has not disrupted traffic - not yet anyway.

"Few people have commented," said interim City Engineer Mike Brinton. "I haven't had any calls."

As the project advances, however, there will be inconveniences for drivers. When that happens, the city recommends that people find a way to avoid Whitmore, such as using Hatch, Pine Street and Service overpasses to get from one side of Ceres to the other.

Work will take place for the next two years. The pain will produce considerable gain as far as traffic flows. The redesigned interchange and widened overpass should result in better and safer traffic flows in the area.

The most visible change that has occurred is that Whitmore Place, the spur of a road coming off of Whitmore Avenue to the frontage road, has been closed by the presence of a growing mound. The dirt will become the approach to the new section of the Whitmore Overpass just north of the existing two-lane bridge. Closure of Whitmore Place means that residents of the Lazy Wheels Mobilehome Park will have their only access on El Camino Avenue.

On the west side of the freeway, crews have been busy as well.

The $22.8 million project includes widening of the Whitmore Overpass from two to four lanes with sidewalks on both north and south shoulders.

Local streets on both sides of Highway 99 will be reconfigured that will vastly alter how traffic moves around Ceres High School.

West of Highway 99, a new connector will be added to allow for southbound turns to connect to Railroad Avenue. It replaces a current sharp hair-pin turn that cannot be used by trucks needing to access Railroad Avenue businesses and industries.

The project will affect the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Whitmore Avenue near the freeway. A reconfiguration of El Camino means the west side driveway will be eliminated but the parking lot will expand into what is now roadway.