Drivers looking to access the northern entrance of Theatre Drive from Paso Robles’ Highway 101 intersection with Highway 46 are now being rerouted west.
The permanent move is part of a bigger-picture plan to help make the junction’s jumble of left-turn lanes less confusing.
The area is popular for accessing hotels and the shopping centers that house Target, Michaels and various shops and eateries.
Last week, the city unveiled a new signaled intersection for Theatre Drive approximately 1,000 feet from its former spot. It’s located on Highway 46 West and has two dedicated left-turn lanes.
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The new route is on lesser-used Gahan Place near the Orchard Supply Hardware store. The street was improved to prepare for the added traffic.
The previous Theatre Drive entrance is now barricaded permanently, and crews are working to remove the asphalt there, north of Alexa Court, and replace it with landscaping.
No changes were made to the Theatre Drive entrance further south off the Main Street exit of Highway 101 in Templeton.
The $2.8 million project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, began in October. It completes the first of five phases to revamp the interchange, which is often prone to traffic jams.
A 2005 study approved by Caltrans said that traffic congestion could be fixed in that area by a number of changes. Future phases will realign South Vine Street west to the new intersection, add two roundabouts and widen Theatre Drive. Construction dates have not been determined yet.