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The Central Valley News Collaborative is a project of The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, KVPR and Radio Bilingüe.

New road opens in ‘forgotten part of Fresno’

City of Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno’s long-awaited Veterans Boulevard officially opened to traffic this week.

It’s a project that’s been in the works for 40 years and connects traffic to what Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer describes as “the forgotten part of Fresno.”

“Veterans Boulevard will provide an efficient east-west connection for those living west of the 99 freeway,” Dyer said at a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and other local leaders cut the ribbon, opening traffic to Veterans Boulevard.
Esther Quintanilla

The boulevard mainly connects traffic from Shaw and Herndon avenues in northwest Fresno, which officials describe as a growing area.

A Highway 99 interchange is expected to help cut down commute times in the area and provide a faster route to work, school, shopping and dining, the mayor added.

The total project cost $140 million and was funded through local, state and federal grants. The largest amount of funding came from Measure C, which is a half-cent sales tax that funds transportation projects.

The city says the project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. Federal, state and local leaders who celebrated the avenue’s opening said the new road will serve the growing Fresno population.

“The fact is Veterans Boulevard is going to connect neighborhoods,” U.S. representative Jim Costa said. “They're going to add new opportunities that will have an economic impact, improve air quality and a whole lot of other good things.”

The roadway is expected to serve more than 70,000 cars on a daily basis. The road is also pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

This story is part of the Central Valley News Collaborative, which is supported by the Central Valley Community Foundation with technology and training support by Microsoft Corp.

Esther Quintanilla reports on diverse communities for KVPR through the Central Valley News Collaborative, which includes The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, KVPR and Radio Bilingüe.