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Project to remove left turns at El Campo Rd./Hwy 101 to proceed

Posted at 2:42 PM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 21:18:47-04

Caltrans says a project to eliminate left turns on Highway 101 at El Campo Rd. and three other intersections between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo will proceed after a judge lifted a temporary stay of the project.

That stay was put in place last week after Vintage Wine Estates, which owns Laetitia Vineyard and Winery, filed a legal challenge to stop the project.

The winery business objected to the intersection of Highway 101 and Tower Grove Dr., also known as Laetitia Vineyard Dr., being included in the project and alleged that Caltrans did not prepare an environmental impact report or provide enough notice of the project for public review.

News of Vintage Wine Estate’s legal filing prompted the family of Jordan Grant, a Cal Poly student who was killed in a crash at the intersection of Highway 101 and El Campo Rd., to call for a boycott of Laetitia wine.

Grant died when his motorcycle collided with a vehicle that authorities say pulled out in front of him as that vehicle made a left-hand turn onto Highway 101 from El Campo Rd. His parents initiated the effort to make changes to the intersection and lobbied heavily for it.

This week, the Grants reportedly met with the CEO of Vintage Wine Estates and all parties agreed to work together to improve safety along that stretch of Highway 101. They plan to push for changes, including an eventual overpass at El Campo Rd., that would increase safety while allowing access to the winery.

In the meantime, Vintage Wine Estates President Terry Wheatley said in the interest of public safety, the Caltrans project should “move forward as soon as possible,” and the company withdrew its legal filing.

The Grants are no longer pushing for a boycott of Laetitia, rather encouraging people to support the business.

Caltrans has not yet announced when the construction will begin. They say the roadwork is dependent on weather conditions.