Kettleman Roundabout

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Project Description

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) proposes to build a dual-lane roundabout at the intersection of State Route 41 and Bernard Drive in Kettleman City from post mile 16.6 to post mile 16.9. A permanent road would be built to serve as a construction detour and reduce traffic congestion in the commercial area. The road would extend Dana Circle to the intersection of State Route 41 and Hubert Way. The intersection would provide a permanent right-turn connection to and from northbound State Route 41. The Dana Circle extension, a county road, would be funded and administered by Kings County before the construction of the roundabout.


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Project Benefits


The purpose of the project is to improve safety, reduce the number of collisions for the life of the project, and improve traffic operations.


The Bernard Drive and State Route 41 intersection has been experiencing traffic congestion due to recent commercial development. As a result, southbound vehicles on State Route 41 have been using the shoulder as a through-lane, compromising the safety of other vehicles and pedestrians using the intersection. A collision history was taken at the State Route 41 intersection at Bernard Drive and at the State Route 41 mainline between post mile 16.5 and post mile 17.0. The three-year period from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2018, shows that the actual fatal collision rate for both intersections is lower than the statewide average fatal collision rate. However, the actual fatal-plus injury and the total collisions are higher than the statewide average rates (see Table 1.1 and Table 1.2). Twelve collisions were reported on the State Route 41 intersection at Bernard Drive; 10 collisions were reported on the State Route 41 mainline between post mile 16.5 and post mile 17.0 during this time period.


Table 1.1 Collision Rates in Collisions per Million Vehicles at the Bernard and State Route 41 Intersection

Source: Air Quality Memorandum, April 2, 2021

Bernard Drive Fatal Fatal and Injury Total
Actual 0.00 0.28 0.66
Average 0.006 0.23 0.58


Table 1.2 Collision Rates in Collisions per Million Vehicles on State Route 41 Between Post Mile 16.5 and Post Mile 17.0

Source: Air Quality Memorandum, April 2, 2021

State Route 41
(Post Mile 16.5 to Post Mile 17.0)
Fatal Fatal and Injury Total
Actual 0.00 0.41 1.36
Average 0.017 0.34 0.80


Compared to other types of intersections, roundabouts have demonstrated safety and other benefits. The proposed roundabout would have fewer vehicular conflict points in comparison to the existing conventional signal intersection. Hence, the potential for high-severity collisions, such as right angle and left-turn head-on collisions, would be greatly reduced. The optimal geometric design of this roundabout can lower entry speeds, allowing drivers more time to react to potential conflicts. This additional reaction time improves the safety and performance of the roundabout. Furthermore, low vehicle speeds within the roundabout would help reduce crash severity, resulting in fewer potential fatalities and serious injuries.

The Level of Service would further deteriorate for the intersection at Bernard Drive and State Route 41. Level of Service is a qualitative system used to measure the effectiveness of a roadway or interchange to transport vehicles. The Level of Service rating system uses letters A through F to describe and measure service quality. A designation of Level of Service A indicates excellent travel conditions, while Level of Service F indicates very poor, congested conditions. According to Caltrans’ standards, Level of Service D is considered an acceptable rating. Traffic conditions from the year 2018 for the intersection of Bernard Drive and State Route 41 show that it operated at a Level of Service F and would continue to do so if the project is not built. If the project is built, the delay time would improve with a corresponding Level of Service B.

Additionally, due to the lack of storage length for U-turn and left-turn movements, long queues are formed on Bernard Drive and northbound State Route 41 for vehicles heading back to Interstate 5. This has caused a higher likelihood of collisions to occur and increased delay time. Furthermore, the existing pedestrian and bicycle facilities do not conform to the provision of complete streets and should be upgraded to accommodate safer pedestrian crossings.



  • Kings County


Estimated Funding Breakdown

Funding Source Funding Amount
Local $0
State $900,000
Federal $8,164,000
Construction Cost $9,064,000


Proposed Project Schedule

Process Date
Final Environmental Document Completed December 2021
Right-of-way acquisition to be completed January 2024
Design Completed January 2024
Advertise April 2024
Construction Begins July 2024
Construction Completed July 2025


Project Contact

Juergen Vespermann, Senior Environmental Planner
Phone:  (559) 832-0051

Chris Gardner, Project Manager
Phone:  (559) 978-1888

District 6 Public Information Office
Phone: (559) 488-4067



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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.