Truck drivers use residential roads as highway construction detours

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX)– Construction on the southbound Highway 99 has turned into a big headache for residents of a local neighborhood. Semi-truck drivers are cutting through residential neighborhoods instead of taking the recommended routes. Signs in the neighborhood clearly say, “not a truck route”.

This specific case of lane closures and ongoing construction in the area, cause concern for residents due to an uptick in traffic and trucks that aren’t supposed to be there. A two-lane, residential area on Real Road is the same street where a senior care living facility and a school zone is located. There’s clear signage up for drivers to be aware of detours and rules of the road, but not all drivers are abiding.

Karen Law, a long-time Bakersfield resident, says, “It was so overwhelming, them barreling down and they weren’t driving 5 miles an hour, they were driving 35, 45 miles an hour.” Speeding trucks happened the evening where the southbound Highway 99 was scheduled to have alternating lane closures for construction. One lane on the highway was always to remain open, according to the Thomas Roads Improvement Program.

But Law explains many semi-trucks driving through the nighttime used Real Rd. instead. Law says, “Ten trucks behind each other every five minutes I mean if they weren’t there…I’d look out the window and ten more coming down…ten more, ten more, ten more.” Law says her home rattles due to the traffic and there’s been prior issues due to big rigs traveling down Real Rd.

Law says, “When I called the city, they said ‘well it’s construction.'” A Bakersfield City Representative says there are very few roads in town where heavy vehicle or truck traffic is permitted. Law says, “I’m scared, but I– they need speed bumps.”

Currently there are no speed bumps down the long road.

Residents can call the City at 661-326-3700 or send an email to [email protected] to report issues with vehicle traffic due to construction detours.

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