Funding in the state budget will be used to build a bridge to help kids & residents safely cross Highway 41
KETTLEMAN CITY, CA – Today, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) joined Kings County community leaders, law enforcement, students and teachers to celebrate an historic investment of $2 million for a new pedestrian bridge in Kettleman City. Assemblymember Salas secured this funding in the 2021-2022 state budget to construct the bridge, which has been a top priority for the community for over a decade.
“I am proud to have championed this additional funding for Kings County,” said Assemblymember Salas. “With the construction of the Kettleman City pedestrian bridge, our kids will be able to get to school safely and parents will no longer have to worry about their children having to brave traffic just so they can get an education or access the local park. This critical public safety project will benefit the families and children in our community for generations to come.”
Families in Kettleman City have been trying to get funding for a pedestrian bridge to cross Highway 41 for several years. Students attending Kettleman City Elementary school are forced to run across this busy highway to get to school. Much of the traffic, which includes large semi-trucks traveling at high speeds, often have difficulty yielding to pedestrian traffic. In fact, records from 2009 to 2014 from the California Highway Patrol show that this stretch of highway is one of the deadliest in the state.
"Safety is of the utmost importance for the students, parents, and community members of Kettleman City; the construction of this pedestrian bridge is an imperative transportation resource,” said Kristi Castillo, Principal of Kettleman City Elementary School. “We are deeply grateful to our district leadership, Supervisor Richard Valle and Assemblyman Rudy Salas for their support and advocacy for the bridge and the needs of the Kettleman City community."
Local leaders and community members who also spoke at the press conference included Supervisor Richard Valle, Rosa Maldonado, Manager at Kettleman County Community Service District (KCCSD), Kristi Castillo, Kettleman City Principal, Local parents and students, Mary Gomez, President of Kings County Office of Education Board of Trustees and Kings County Sheriff David Robinson.