MADERA COUNTY — The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has announced the schedule for a project to create rumble strips on the Highway 41 corridor from Avenue 15 near Madera Ranchos to Highway 49 in Oakhurst.
Caltrans spokesman Sam Yniguez reports that crews will begin the process of creating a center rumble strip on Highway 41 starting Sunday night, June 4 at 9 p.m. The project will continue Sunday through Thursday during the overnight hours, with crews working in one-mile sections from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The work will start at Avenue 15 and move north.
Travelers can anticipate one-way traffic control in the vicinity of the specific work zone, with delays expected to last about 15 minutes. Depending on traffic volumes, delays may extend longer. The project is currently set to last up to two months. California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be on site assisting with traffic control. Motorists are expected to obey all traffic laws.
Centerline rumble strips are often used on undivided highways to reduce cross-over incidents and resultant head-on collisions. Safety is the reason behind the project, says Yniguez, citing a traffic investigations study that noted the severity and frequency of accidents in the area.
Caltrans reports ten fatalities in the targeted area over a three year period. The results of the study led investigators to recommend rumble strips, which are intended to alert tired or inattentive drivers that they are in danger of crossing the center dividing line into oncoming traffic. Unlike a barrier, rumble strips allow drivers to pass other cars when it is safe to do so.
The process for creating rumble strips involves driving a machine down the centerline, punching small divots in the roadway, spaced in such a way that, when crossed, make an audible sound allowing the driver to physically feel the vehicle’s response to the drift, and take corrective action.
Caltrans says the $700,000 project is being funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.
Caltrans maintenance workers ask commuters to drive with extra care and allow additional time while traveling in the maintenance area. Please be alert for Road Maintenance Personnel and “Slow for the Cone Zone.”