Highway 46 nears four-lane expansion in Kern County

Kern County’s infamous “Blood Alley” might be finally getting a much-needed improvement. 

Earlier in November the California Transportation Commission staff recommended that the commission approve $10 million to widen Highway 46 from two lanes to four. 

Highway 46 serves as one of the main arteries for travelers from Kern County to Morro Bay and the central coast. 

Currently the highway is only two lanes for a five-mile stretch heading into San Luis Obispo County. That stretch was the site of actor James Dean’s death in 1995. 

If the commission moves forward with the funding, it will mark the end of a 20-year campaign from local officials to make the improvement. 

“This is huge,” Kern Council of Governments Executive Director Ahron Hakimi told the Bakersfield Californian. “This is something that I”ve been working on, Kern COG has been working on, Caltrans and all of our elected officials, for literally 20 years.”

The commission is scheduled to vote on the funding in December. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at