Traffic lights at the intersection La Barr Meadows Road and State Highway 49 began to direct drivers at 8 a.m. Sunday, altering the flow of vehicles at the intersection that has seen its fair share of collisions.
The new traffic lights at the intersection is one of the most visible changes of the $29 million project to improve safety on Highway 49, making the route four lanes over a 1.5-mile stretch between Little Valley Road just north of Alta Sierra, and Cornette Drive south of Grass Valley.
More than 7,400 people are estimated to drive along Highway 49 daily, heading to work in Placer, Sacramento and other nearby counties.
More than 27 percent of Nevada County’s work force commutes to other counties for jobs, according to the 2000 United States Census.
In 2005 alone, 11 deaths resulted from collisions between the Bear River crossing and Grass Valley city limits on Highway 49.
Construction message signs will be posted on Highway 49 to alert the traveling public of the new signal.
Caltrans urges all motorists to use caution in this area and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”
A project description on the Caltrans website lists the project to have an expected completion this winter.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4236.