Through Thursday of this week, Caltrans is implementing three full overnight closures of the northbound lanes of Highway 101 near Atascadero.
The construction is just north of the Highway 58 and 101 interchange. Caltrans says the reason behind the closure is safety.
“It is a major commuter route for the thousands of people that live in North County that travel to San Luis Obispo and South County each day to go to work, to go to school,” said Jim Shivers, Caltrans District 5 spokesperson.
The northbound lanes of Highway 101 will be closed overnights between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. through Thursday. The project will level the slope near the shoulder of the highway, and the ridge along the road will be smoothed down.
“We've minimized the risk of a run-off-the-road incident, over-correcting in the curve. This project is designed to ensure that they move through this curve in a very safe way,” Shivers explained.
The idea is that the raised shoulder will stabilize as the vehicle zips by.
Shivers said he wasn’t aware of a history of crashes in this area, but Caltrans engineers were looking to enhance safety.
It will cost almost $2 million and is being paid for through taxes.
"Mostly all projects in the state, yes, are basically coming from a general taxation,” Shivers said.
While other closures like this have taken place previously, two other projects in the area will include overnight closures over the next month.
The project should be done by this September.