November 7, 2009–According to the Bakersfield Californian, a section of Highway 46 in Kern County will soon become a 4 lane expressway. The bad reputation of this roadway dates back to the death of Michelle Phillips in 1999, or even back to the death of actor James Dean in 1955.
The Highway 46 widening project will be done in stages. A ground breaking ceremony will occur on Tuesday at the Lost Hills Park with construction set to begin on November 16, 2009. The plan is to provide a generous median strip to buffer the opposing lanes of traffic. However, a similar upgrade to Highway 41 east of Selma resulted in a post-construction fatality when a second stop sign was not provided to force crossing traffic to cross the expressway in 2 stages. It is our contention that the wide median in that case in part caused another accident and that state design manuals mandated a second stop sign. Suit was filed in that action by Attorney John Rozier of the law firm of Nelson & Rozier in Visalia in the past couple of months. Discovery will soon be initiated including the depositions of CHP and Cal Trans personnel. www.nelsonrozier.com