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Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) has announced that his Assembly Bill 1043 passed the Assembly floor. The bill would add State Route 43 to the Interregional Road System (IRRS) and would make it eligible to compete for project funding in the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP).

“Improvement projects for State Route 43 are long overdue. It serves a key route for local freight transportation,” said Salas. “This measure makes State Route 43 eligible for additional safety improvements, repairs and upgrades.”

Commonly known as the Central Valley Highway, ST 43 serves the region as a major corridor, commuter and arterial freeway and expressway system. SR 43 runs primarily through rural San Joaquin Valley. The route spans 97 miles, functioning as a two-lane conventional highway through portions of Kings, Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties.

With the exception of a few urbanized areas, land use surrounding SR 43 is agriculturally related. The route provides vital access for the farm-to-market goods movement, which is essential to the economic stability and growth of the area.

During the growing and harvesting seasons, the movement of large agricultural equipment is a frequent occurrence; such movement of equipment occasionally hinders the safe free flow of traffic on this route. The primary reason for the inability to secure necessary safety and operational improvements is the lack of funding options to finance improvements.

The IRRS was established in 1990 to address the critical transportation system funding and development needs of the state. The IRRS focuses on routes outside urbanized areas that connect major activity centers in the state. The addition of SR 43 to the IRRS would not have an immediate fiscal impact to the state. Adding SR 43 to this list would simply make the route eligible to compete for future funding. public

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