Stay alert, motorists, lots of roadwork ahead

Drivers in Merced County will need to pay special attention to the roads this week with a slew of construction and closures planned throughout the county.

The California Department of Transportation announced that it will perform construction and bridge work on Highway 99 from Highway 140 to 16th Street. As a result, the southbound on- and offramps from 16th Street to Highway 99 are closed. They are scheduled to reopen the week of April 28.

The work also will affect the northbound onramp from Highway 140 near 15th Street to Highway 99, according to Caltrans officials.

The southbound onramp from G Street to Highway 99 will be closed, and is scheduled to reopen May 6. The eastbound connector ramp from Highway 140 to Highway 99 near Main Street is also closed, and is set to reopen about the same date.

Ongoing county projects include the $22.8 million Bradley Overhead project, which is replacing an old bridge and widening the road from two to four lanes along Highway 140.

The project, which began in June 2011, starts at Marthella Avenue and ends east of Santa Fe Avenue.

Also ongoing is the $128 million Highway 99-Arboleda Drive project, which began in June; a new interchange is being built on Highway 99 at Arboleda.

The project will convert a four-lane expressway to a six-lane freeway from Buchanan Hollow Road to the Miles Creek Overflow. The work is expected to be completed in June 2015.

Caltrans officials said drivers should expect 10-minute delays in construction areas and take alternate routes when possible.

This work is scheduled to begin as listed, but can change because of traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment or materials, and other construction related issues.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.