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‘Today, the El Campo death trap is closed.’ Caltrans starts work on Hwy. 101 crossings

Caltrans began work on the El Campo Road Highway 101 crossing on Tuesday, marking the beginning of a week-long project to stop left-hand turns at that and three other intersections between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo.

According to a Caltrans news release, motorists should expect to encounter lane closures along northbound Highway 101 this week from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and southbound from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

The project was scheduled to begin May 13, but was temporarily delayed after a lawsuit was filed by Vintage Wine Estates, claiming Caltrans had not properly examined the impacts of the project before scheduling construction. Vintage Wine Estates owns Laetitia Vineyard, which is located at one of the four crossings to be closed.

The lawsuit was paused last week and work allowed to resume, after the winery group met with the family of Jordan Grant, a Cal Poly student killed at the El Campo Road crossing in October.

James Grant, Jordan’s father, told The Tribune in an email Wednesday that it had been an emotional day and night noting that many people sent the family photos of the construction starting.

“We have tears of joy and sadness as we receive so many pictures from our SLO friends showing us the completed safety improvements,” he wrote. “We are so grateful for the community that gathered around us and supported us in doing this in Jordan’s honor.”

On Wednesday, Grant’s family posted a simple message to Jordan Grant’s Memorial Page on Facebook:

“Today, the El Campo death trap is closed,” they wrote. “And the California poppies we planted for Jordan started blooming this morning. We love you, Jordan.”

Caltrans expects the work on the crossings to be done by Friday.

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