Left-hand turns at four crossings on Highway 101, including El Campo Road where computer engineering freshman Jordan Grant was killed, will soon be blocked.
Caltrans will start restricting the medians at intersections between Los Berros Road in Nipomo and Traffic Way near Arroyo Grande May 13, according to Caltrans Public Information Officer Jim Shivers. The project is expected to cost $250,000.
This comes after the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) board recommended stopping left-hand turns to cut down on unsafe crossings in the county April 3.
On October 7, 2018, Jordan was traveling south on Highway 101 to watch a launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base when a driver crossing at El Campo Road hit his motorcycle. Jordan’s father, James Grant, campaigned to have the intersection shut down.
The roadwork involved in the operation is set to take place solely on the highway median in order to allow access to local businesses and residencies. The median will also remain accessible for emergency responders between El Campo Road and Los Berros Road.
While an interchange is not expected to be the long term solution for the intersections, a more finished product would take between 7 to 15 years to plan, build and put into operation, along with incredible expense, SLOCOG Executive Director Peter Rodgers said.
After the median is blocked, James argued the next step is to challenge the local community to accelerate the planning of an overpass at El Campo Road.
“Not that I’m throwing cold water on this project, but it’s a matter of resources,” Rodgers said. “We don’t have the funds to pay for a $30 to $50 million interchange out of SLOCOG. We are the ‘money people,’ but we are just dealing with federal, state and local contributions.”
The $250,000 will manifest in lane closures along northbound Highway 101 weeknights during the overnight hours 7 p.m.–6 a.m. and southbound 8 p.m.– 5:30 a.m.
Contractor Papich Construction of Arroyo Grande will be carrying out the $250,000 project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of this month. Due to the prioritization of other projects, a long-term solution to the interchange is not currently in the works.
The four medians are expected to be restricted by the end of the month. Drivers could see lane closures during the overnight hours.