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SLO spending $348,000 to make this downtown intersection safer

The city of SLO is working to repair sidewalks and improve the traffic signals at the intersection of Monterey and Osos streets.
The city of SLO is working to repair sidewalks and improve the traffic signals at the intersection of Monterey and Osos streets.

A downtown SLO intersection is getting updated, so watch out for detours and traffic on your morning commute.

Over the next few weeks, crews will repair sidewalks and update the traffic signals at the intersection of Monterey and Osos streets, according to Jake Hudson, the city’s transportation operations supervisor.

“A big portion of it is the traffic signal. Over the years there’s been a lot of red-light running that resulted in traffic collisions,” Hudson said, noting the design of the intersection dates back to the 1960s. A 2015 Traffic Safety Report from the city also notes a pattern of red-light violations at that intersection and recommends traffic signal improvements.

Presently at that intersection, the traffic lights are set far back from the roadway. Hudson said crews will update the design so the lights will be a lot closer to the intersection.

“We’re basically making the lights more visible so it’s less likely people will run the red light,” Hudson said.

“A lot of design standards have changed a lot since then,” Hudson said. “We’re not required to do that (update the signal design). We’re doing it specifically to improve the visibility of the heads (traffic lights).”

Another part of the project will be repairing sidewalks and pedestrian ramps at the intersection, which tree roots have uplifted over time. The total cost of the project is $348,000, according to Hudson.

Hudson said the project is scheduled to run through February, but it’s hard to say when exactly it will end. The project has already experienced weather-related delays, and more rain is in the forecast.

There will be road closures and detours marked during construction hours, which will be between 1 a.m. and 9 a.m., according to the city. The bus stops near the intersection have been relocated to Palm Street during those hours. Pedestrian access at the intersection may also be limited during construction.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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