State Route 59 4-Lane Widening

Public Meeting

Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: City of Merced Civic Center Council Chamber, 678 West 18th Street, Second Floor, Merced, California 95340


Project Description

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the City of Merced proposes to widen and improve State Route 59 from a two-lane roadway to four lanes from the 16th Street intersection to about 600 feet south of Buena Vista Drive. The Highway 59 Phase 1 Widening and Widening Over Black Rascal Creek project also proposes to replace the Black Rascal Creek Bridge and the South Fork Black Rascal Creek Bridge. Additional project features include standard shoulders, intersection improvements, Class 2 bicycle lanes, a striped two-way left-turn lane and median, and sidewalks.

Location Map


Project Benefits


The purpose of the project is to:

  • Provide congestion relief on State Route 59.
  • Build a roadway to meet existing and forecasted traffic demand.
  • Improve access to all modes of travel, including bicycles and pedestrians.
  • Reduce the number of collisions.

Reduce flooding occurrences on the roadway during high flows in Black Rascal Creek.


The project is needed because:

  • The existing two-lane roadway cannot meet existing and forecasted traffic demand.
  • The current collision rates are significantly higher than the state average for similar facilities.
  • Existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities are inconsistent with gaps between constructed improvements.

The existing Black Rascal Creek Bridge does not meet current freeboard requirements within the floodway for the Central Valley Flood Protection Board.


Funding Source

Local Funded, Contribution from State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP).


Project Cost/Programmed

 Programed Project Cost Capital $ Support $
Project Approval & Environmental Document $0 $400,000
Plans, Specifications, & Estimates $0 $0
Right of Way $0 $0
Construction $0 $0


Projected Cost as of (August 22, 2023) Planned $ Expended $
Project Approval & Environmental Document $400,000 $380,000
Plans, Specifications, & Estimates $0 $0
Right of Way $0 $0
Construction $0 $0


Current Schedule

 Process Date
Project Study Report (M010) August 2020
Project Approval & Environmental Document (M200) December 2023
Right of Way Certification (M410) January 2026
Ready to List (M460) April 2026
Approved Construction Contract (M500) May 2026
Project Completion (M600) April 2027


Project Status

Caltrans is providing oversight for the project in the Project Approval & Environmental Document (PA&ED) phase.


Project Contact

Caltrans District 10 - Public Information Office
Phone: (209) 948-7977



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Initial Study with Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration - August 2023 (PDF 22,263 KB)


Title VI Information

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) assures that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and Federal Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations).

Caltrans will make every effort to ensure nondiscrimination in all of its programs and activities, whether they are federally funded or not, and that services and benefits are fairly distributed to all people, regardless of race, color, or national origin. In addition, Caltrans will facilitate meaningful participation in the transportation planning process in a nondiscriminatory manner.