Los Osos sewer work leads to headaches for some motorists

dsneed@thetribunenews.comFebruary 25, 2013 

Cars drive through a construction zone on Santa Ysabel Avenue in Los Osos on Monday as work on the sewer continues.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

With construction of the Los Osos sewer system in full swing, motorists are finding that they have to endure delays, closed roads and circuitous detours around the work. Some are getting impatient.

“We do get a fair amount of complaints,” said John Waddell, project manager with the San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department. “People need to allow more time to get around and be safe around the work zones.”

Contractors are installing collection pipes in five areas of town. Work began last summer on the $174 million project, which calls for the installation of an entire sewage treatment system, including collection lines and a treatment plant.

The county has two years to install collection lines in every street of Los Osos and Baywood Park. That means work has to be going on at the same time in multiple areas, Waddell said.

Contractors started with the busiest streets such as Los Osos Valley Road and Santa Ysabel Avenue in order to get those done first. Waddell recommends that motorists check the website www.diglososos.com for updates and a map of where work is taking place.

He suggests that motorists use the detours and plan ahead to avoid work areas. Updates can also be learned by calling 546-2802.

Tony Garlow of Big Tony’s Landscaping said he’s had to wait up to seven minutes at some locations while driving through Los Osos.

“It’s confusing,” he said. “Our time is money, so it’s a little frustrating.”

Santa Ysabel Avenue is the busiest spot right now, and that was where traffic controller Lori Scott was directing drivers Monday morning.

She said many people are glad that the sewer is finally being installed after many years of delays. Most people are patient and courteous, but not everybody.

“We get a few people who cuss us out and flip us off,” Scott said. “I’ve even had a few people spit at me.”

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