Widening Kettleman Lane is expected to take six months and cost $3.5 million with the goal of making the stretch of highway through Lodi a safer one.
The Lodi City Council discussed plans for the roadway at is weekly study session Tuesday.
Plans include making Kettleman a four-lane strip between Ham Lane and Tienda Drive near Target, and constructing a raised-curb, landscaped median there and between Stockton Street and Cherokee Lane.
A double-turn lane into the Sunwest Shopping Center will also be created and the driveway readjusted.
The improvements will provide a continuous four-lane roadway with raised median from Lower Sacramento Road to Cherokee Lane.
A separate project to construct a median from Hutchins Street to School Street will be approved at a later date.
City officials hope the Kettleman Lane improvements will relieve traffic congestion and improve road safety.
"The accident rate is unbelievable," said Paula Fernandez, the city's senior traffic engineer.
Between Lower Sacramento Road and Ham Lane there are an average of 4.81 accidents per 1 million vehicles. The most frequent accidents involve motorists being broadsided or rear-ended.
"That is twice as high as similar state highways," Fernandez said.
Between Stockton Street and Cherokee Lane, there are 5.63 accidents per million vehicles.
Since the road is a highway, the project will be paid for with a state grant of federal money, Public Works Director Richard Prima said.
Construction will cost roughly $2.6 million, Fernandez said. The remaining $900,000 will be used for design and consultant services.
The work is scheduled to start in early 2003.
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