Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Thomas Roads Improvement Program?
The Thomas Roads Improvement Program (TRIP) is a cooperative effort between the City of Bakersfield, County of Kern, Caltrans and Kern Council of Governments (Kern COG). These agencies are committed to finding and implementing solutions that meet the region’s long-term transportation needs. The partnership was created to manage and expedite the completion of projects designated for funding in the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). It is named in honor of Congressman William M. Thomas, who secured $630 million in federal funds for road improvement projects in the greater Bakersfield area. To learn more about the program’s history, click here.
2. How are TRIP projects financed?
Project funding is derived from a combination of sources. Federal funds account for approximately half of the total program funding. The City and County are the next largest contributors to the program, with the remaining funds derived from the State and other sources.
3. Which projects have the highest priority?
All TRIP projects are considered high priority; however, the projects are at different stages of development depending upon such things as size, complexity, and financing.
4. What are the Bakersfield Systems Study and “Alternative 15”?
The Bakersfield Systems Study was a joint effort between the City of Bakersfield, County of Kern, Caltrans, and Kern COG. The study’s purpose was to develop a system-wide approach to improve area traffic issues. Over 20 different combinations of improvements were studied and “Alternative 15” was selected as the preferred alternative in July 2001. The major elements of this System Plan are included among the TRIP projects-- the Westside Parkway, Centennial Corridor, Hageman Flyover, and 24th Street (SR 178) Improvements. View the Bakersfield Systems Study Summary Report.
5. How long will it take to complete the projects?
The majority of TRIP projects are scheduled for completion prior to 2016, though some schedules extend beyond that date. It should be noted that TRIP’s purpose is to coordinate efforts between participating agencies and accelerate project schedules.
6. How is a preferred alternative selected?
During the project development process, multiple conceptual alternatives are considered. These alternatives may be developed by members of the Project Development Team or submitted by the public. A number of determinants are applied to all alternatives during an initial screening process. These include, but are not limited to, an alignment’s ability to meet a project’s purpose and need; probable environmental impacts; costs; and design constraints such as specific widths, sight distances, and curve radii needed to handle traffic volumes and desired speeds. Alternatives that meet the initial criteria are subjected to more in-depth studies with the results released in the draft environmental document. The draft document is circulated for public input and comments. Once comments have been received and addressed, the recommended alternative is selected and included in the final environmental document.
7. How will TRIP projects affect traffic conditions?
Once complete, TRIP projects will improve conditions on the overall transportation network, but motorists may encounter temporary detours and delays during construction. You will find major construction activities and planned detours and delays posted on this website under Construction Activity. We appreciate the community’s patience and cooperation as TRIP moves forward with these road improvement projects.
8. Will it be necessary to acquire homes and businesses to build these projects?
Some property acquisitions will need to be made prior to construction. This may require the acquisition of homes and businesses, depending upon the project’s location. Specific parcels cannot be identified before the preferred alternative is selected. Acquisition does not begin until the final environmental document has been approved and design is completed.
9. What can I expect if my property is affected?
Caltrans offers brochures that explain the acquisition process for renters, property owners and businesses. The brochure “Your Property Your Transportation Project” is available on this website in both English and Spanish. (View the English version. View the Spanish version.) You may also want to read the relocation brochure for residential or business. If you have questions regarding a specific property or project, please contact the TRIP office (see below).
10. How do I participate in the process?
Public involvement in the transportation planning process is vital to a project’s success. You are encouraged to participate in public meetings and to contribute comments throughout the project development process. You may submit written comments for any TRIP project through any of the following means. Please reference the project in your correspondence. If you have additional questions, please contact TRIP:
Mail or in person:
Thomas Roads Improvement Program
1600 Truxtun Avenue, 3rd Floor
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: (661) 326-3491
Fax: (661) 852-2194