The 2022-23 State Budget includes $6 million for the Kettleman City pedestrian bridge and $2 million for Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department upgrades
- Michael Dyar
- Legislative Director
KETTLEMAN CITY, CA – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) presented a ceremonial check for $6 million to Kings County community leaders, law enforcement, students and teachers to celebrate this historic investment to complete a new pedestrian bridge in Kettleman City. Assemblymember Salas also presented a ceremonial check for $2 million to the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD) for new firefighting equipment. Assemblymember Salas secured funding in the 2022-23 State Budget to construct the bridge and upgrade LVFD’s equipment, which have been top priorities for the community.
“I am proud to have championed this additional funding to improve public safety in 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 go to the local park. This new funding for LVFD will ensure they can continue to serve the community and are prepared for future emergencies. These critical public safety projects 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. Records from 2009 to 2014 from the California Highway Patrol show that this stretch of highway is one of the deadliest in the state.
LVFD protects 26,500 residents, which is one of the largest populations protected by an all-volunteer fire department in California. On multiple occasions when LVFD responds to structure fires, they have to take empty air bottles all the way back to the station to be refilled and then returned to the fire. This new funding will allow LVFD to purchase new equipment that will allow them to refill oxygen at the scene of an emergency.
“Thank you to Assemblyman Rudy Salas for the persistence and dedication to providing a safe passage for our community members to cross this dangerous highway,” said Principal Ana Rosas of Kettleman City Elementary School. “When the pedestrian bridge is realized, the investment will save an untold number of lives. For this, we are forever thankful.”
Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.