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Caltrans to begin work on Hwy 101 intersections south of Arroyo Grande starting Tuesday

Posted at 2:00 PM, May 20, 2019

A project to eliminate left turns on Highway 101 at El Campo Rd. and three other intersections between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo will begin on Tuesday night, May 21, according to Caltrans.

During the work, Caltrans says drivers will encounter northbound lane closures from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and southbound lane closures from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

The work is scheduled to be complete by Friday, May 24.

The project was delayed by about a week after Vintage Wine Estates, which owns Laetitia Vineyard and Winery, filed a legal challenge to stop it.

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. It 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.

Last 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.

As a result of that meeting, Vintage Wine Estates withdrew its legal filing and a judge lifted a temporary stay of the project, allowing it to proceed.