Public Information Meeting on April 12th – Project to be Completed in Sections
After being approved by the Visalia City Council in September 2022, the first section of construction for the Riggin Widening and Improvement Project is scheduled to begin in mid-late April. The segments on Riggin Avenue will occur sequentially from Akers Street to Demaree Street (Section 1), then from Mooney Boulevard to Conyer Street (Section 2), from Kelsey Street to Shirk Road (Section 3), and finally from Shirk Road to Akers Street (Section 4) with various phases of work scheduled for each segment.
Section 1 of the Riggin Widening and Improvement Project will include the widening of the existing roadway from two lanes to four lanes from Akers to Demaree and the addition of a landscaped median, buffered bike lanes, bus turnouts, street lighting, and a sidewalk.
In order to ensure the first section of the project minimally affects residents in the area, the City of Visalia will host a Public Information Meeting on Wednesday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Ridgeview Middle School Library located at 3315 N. Akers St. in Visalia.
There will be no full road closures for work on Riggin Avenue, but access to the adjacent neighborhoods may be impacted. Residents or those who regularly travel through the area are encouraged to attend the Public Information Meeting. Residents can ask questions and hear how traffic will be controlled with some lane restrictions throughout the various phases of Section 1.
“Businesses and homes in the area will be allowed access at all times with minor exceptions,” said Katherine Woodhull-Fuget, City of Visalia Assistant Engineer. “We’ll work to complete the project as quickly as possible to minimize the impacts and inconveniences to the public.”
Although the area will be accessible, traffic delays are still expected, and motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid Riggin between Akers and Demaree.
While this will be the first section of Riggin to be widened, Section 2 – Mooney to Conyer – requires preparation work which will start before construction begins on Section 1. This is in part due to the weather and the desire to have the first two sections of the project completed before winter’s inception.
The preparation work for Section 2 will include the relocation of 10 power poles on the northside of Riggin from Mooney to Conyer by Southern California Edison (SCE). The pole relocations will start Saturday, April 1 and will continue from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily through July. Section 2 construction is expected to immediately follow starting in August or September.
No power outages are anticipated by SCE due to the relocation of the poles, but some traffic control in the area could cause delays as SCE works along the existing shoulder.
“We urge motorists to use caution when driving through the construction zone if they are unable to avoid the area,” said Diego Corvera, City of Visalia Civil Engineer. “Construction and widening of this section of Riggin can start after we safely relocate the poles. We will provide advance notice to residents in the area and to citizens of Visalia, in addition to hosting a Section 2 Public Information Meeting before that work begins.”
Section 3 of the Riggin Widening and Improvement Project will also require power poles to be relocated by SCE from Kelsey to Shirk before construction begins which is anticipated to take place in summer 2024.
The fourth and final section of the project is still being planned and is slated to begin in fiscal year 2024-25. However, this timeline is subject to change depending on the development of the northside of Riggin.
Visalians are encouraged to follow @cityofvisalia on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for regular updates regarding construction and news from both the City of Visalia and the Visalia City Council.
For more information on Section 1 of the Riggin Avenue Widening and Improvement Project, contact Woodhull-Fuget by calling 713-4447 or emailing [email protected].
For more information on Section 2 of the Riggin Avenue Widening and Improvement Project, contact Corvera by calling (559) 713-4209 or emailing [email protected].