By Karen Brainard
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is planning to begin initial work on improving traffic flow at the state Route 67 and Highland Valley/Dye Road intersection this summer, Joe Hull of Caltrans said on Tuesday.
According to Hull, Caltrans has agreed to do two steps: A project report that will cover all environmental documents and detail estimates for the project, and final design and engineering plans. The early estimate for that work is $800,000, he said.
Preliminary plans call for the work to begin at the start of Caltrans’ fiscal year which is July 1, he added.
“This is great news,” said Ramona Community Planning Chair Jim Piva, who has been working with District 2 County Supervisor Dianne Jacob to try to secure funding for a project report on the intersection, which is considered the cause of rush hour traffic back-ups. “We’re getting something done.”
Funding for actual construction of improvements will be a combined effort of Caltrans, San Diego County, land developers and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), said Hull.
“It will definitely be a joint effort...to come up with funding for construction,” he said.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob weighed in on the news: “As excited as I am that Caltrans has committed funds for the design and engineering, I am equally as eager to see that the intersection project be fully funded and completed. I truly appreciate the work of Jack Dale (first vice chair of SANDAG Board) and community members who are actively working to keep this on the front burner. We can’t let up. In the past, I’ve convened meetings between the community and SANDAG and Caltrans officials and I’ll continue to do so. We’ve got good parties at the table and momentum is building.”