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New stop signs pop up

Three-way stop signs were being installed starting Friday on Idaho-Maryland Road at Railroad Avenue and at the eastbound offramp of the Golden Center Freeway in Grass Valley.

They are a temporary measure while the city waits for the California Department of Transportation to give final approval for the installation of traffic signals there, City Engineer Tim Kiser said.

For more than one and a half years, Weaver Auto & Truck Center and Hills Flat Lumber Co. – both businesses with new facilities on Idaho-Maryland Road – have been trying to obtain Caltrans approval for the signals, Kiser said.



Due to the complexity of coordinating the timing of the signals and other improvements, as well as problems in the engineering studies for the intersections, development engineers haven’t yet obtained encroachment permits from Caltrans, Kiser said. The proximity of the Golden Center Freeway gives Caltrans ultimate authority over the two intersections.

Given the agency’s current rate of progress, approval could take a year, he said.




Even if state approval takes longer, the stop signs will provide an acceptable level of service at both intersections “for 5 years or better,” Kiser said.

City crews also are widening the roadway, which would be required for the traffic signals.

The money to be paid by both businesses for their traffic impact fees going toward the signals will be held by the city for the lights’ eventual construction, Kiser said.

When the Golden Center Freeway and its ramps were constructed, the present traffic volume hadn’t been anticipated, Kiser said. With increasing growth in Grass Valley, some intersections have become congested.

Idaho-Maryland Road was designated in the city’s 2020 General Plan as a corridor for industrial and commercial development, adding to traffic woes on the two-lane road.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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