Supervisors put off decision on Prado Road overpass

The future of the Prado Road overpass – if it has a future – is still unclear, as the Board of Supervisors held off further action on the project until it hears what the city of San Luis Obispo want to do about the would-be project.

The overpass would span Highway 101 and in theory help ameliorate traffic that will be created by the Dalidio Ranch shopping center development, which voters authorized by passing Measure J last November. The project will be located west of Highway 101 and south of Madonna Road.

Measure J did not mandate the overpass, and since November the city and the county have left unanswered who would build and pay for it. The interchange’s estimated cost is $57 million, and it would not be finished until 2014.

At Tuesday’s supervisors’ meeting, 10 speakers and two supervisors – Bruce Gibson and Jim Patterson - said the county should just opt out of studying the project further because it is not in the county’s jurisdiction.

“We’re just a bit player,” said County Administrative Officer David Edge, suggesting that the city take charge of the overpass.

Nevertheless, developer Ernie Dalidio’s representatives, attorney Michael Morris and architect Vic Montgomery, said the county should speak with the city. Although they were the only two to take that stance, Supervisors Jerry Lenthall, Katcho Achadjian and Harry Ovitt went along.

Edge said he could get the city’s response in a five-minute phone call with City Manager Ken Hampian, but Lenthall and the other two supervisors insisted that the two staffs get together, for an undisclosed amount of staff time and county money.

Shelly Stanwyck, assistant city administrative officer, said she could not take a stand at the supervisors’ discussions because the San Luis Obispo City Council has not taken a position on the Prado Road interchange.

-- Bob Cuddy