Construction crews pulled in equipment on Tuesday night, shutting down the left hand turn off of Highway 101 at El Campo Road and signaling an end to the long road the project has taken throughout the years.
Throughout the night, workers from Papich Construction of Arroyo Grande will begin removing the asphalt from the intersection. Asphalt will also be removed from the Laetitia Winery cross street as well. Both Telephone and Hemi roads will be kept for emergency vehicles only.
The start-stop, and once again start, of the project goes back years when Caltrans had first looked at changing the often dangerous intersection. After nearing the final step, a hiccup in understanding of the project caused another delay with a lawsuit filed by the Laetitia Winery.
That has since been resolved by the owners and James Grant, father of Jordan Grant, who was killed in 2018 at the El Campo Road intersection while riding his motorcycle.
Overnight work on closing off the intersection began on Tuesday and is expected to continue throughout the week, though Caltrans said there is a chance it could wrap up as soon as Wednesday.
Finally getting to this point is a big moment for Caltrans and its goal of safety.
“Piece of mind being able to provide that additional safety to the traveling public,” Susana Cruz of Caltrans District 5 said. “Unfortunate circumstances but now being able to have those areas safe and accessible still, at two locations, that’s important.”
Signs will be placed at Telephone and Hemi to indicate it is for emergency vehicles only.
Striping and rumble strips will also be installed at all four intersections.
The project’s cost is $250,000 and Caltrans says that is a “good price” for the project.
Lane closures will be in effect during the overnight hours, so expect slower traffic.