Local News

Jan 7, 2010 2:45 AM by Monica Quintero

Construction on busy area in San Luis Obispo

Drivers may need to give themselves some extra time due to construction in one of the busiests areas of San Luis Obispo. Crews will be repaving the Madonna Road overpass. They were scheduled to begin work at 5:00 pm Wednesday and wrap up at midnight on Thursday. Only one lane will be open in both directions during that time. In addition, the on-ramp to northbound Highway 101 will be shut down. Drivers know anytime there's construction, there are always delays. Gordon Middleton, driver, said, "Everything causes delays when you build something. It's important, they need it." Another driver, Ernee VanSickle, said, "This is one of the busiest streets I've seen worse than Las Vegas."

It won't be the only area impact by construction, the Highway 101 on and off ramps at Madonna Road will be closed in both directions on Thursday for paving. The closure will be from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Lane closures could be in place on Highway 227 during that time as well to complete any work that ws not finished on Wednesday. Colin Jones, Caltrans spokesperson, said, "These are major investments in the infrastructure in San Luis Obispo. Ultimately, it's going to result in a better highway, better pavement and a smoother ride for motorists and commuters."

CalTrans said repaving generally lasts for 10 to 20 years based on weather conditions and traffic. In this case, they won't revisit it for several years except to fix small problems such as potholes and striping. The Caltrans spokesperson also said fixing these roadways is state funded. Jones said, "All combined, we've invested close to $30 million in just roadway improvements in San Luis Obispo." As for drivers, it's advised they slow down. Middleton said, "Slow down and watch out for the guy who's working on your highway." To make sure everyone is safe, CHP is also there to help. Caltrans hopes to have the construction wrapped up by the end of the month. The electronic message boards will also direct drivers.

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