One-way traffic and long delays in store for the next year. CHP advises using alternate routes to Bakersfield

A year of inconveniences, delays and detours for people traveling back and forth to Bakersfield on Highway 119 is about to start.

Construction is scheduled to get underway next week to convert the Highway 119-Highway 43 (Enos Lane) intersection into a roundabout.

Trapping and relocating of endangered species has been completed clearing the way for the actual work to start.

California Highway Patrol officer Adam Taylor said traffic on Highway 119 will immediately be down to one lane with flaggers controlling alternating traffic.

To make matters worse, two weeks after construction starts, Highway 43 will be closed from Highway 119 north to a point just south of the entrance to the Kern County Raceway park.

Taft residents wanting to travel to the speedway or go north on Highway 43 will have to travel to I-5, take I-5 north for a short distance and exit at Highway 43.

Taylor said the CHP is advising motorists to simply avoid the area.

Taft residents are being encouraged to go east on Gardner Field Road to South Lake Road and continue around to Old River Road then north back on to Highway 119.

Oilfield traffic heading to and from Bakersfield is being encouraged to use Highway 58.

If you do have to use Highway 119 expect long delays in the construction zone.

The Highway 119-43 roundabout construction is expected to take about a year.

When it is completed, another project will start to the north at Stockdale Highway and Enos Lane.