Off-ramp lane to ease Brunswick congestion |

Off-ramp lane to ease Brunswick congestion

It should be easier for drivers to get around the Brunswick Basin next summer.

Caltrans is going to add a left-turn lane to the southbound off ramp of the Gold Center Freeway at Brunswick Road. That’s the ramp that runs behind Bubba’s Bagels and Togo’s restaurant.

The state highway agency hired a contractor for the $450,000 project. Construction will start sometime next summer and be finished in 20 to 30 days, said Tom Brannon, Caltrans project manager for Nevada County.

Currently, the off ramp gets so congested that drivers sometimes have to wait for two or three traffic-light cycles before they can turn onto Brunswick, said John Rumsey, Nevada County senior civil engineer.

“By having the second turn lane there (it) won’t back traffic up so badly on the ramp,” he said.

That, in turn, should allow the traffic light to cycle more quickly, which should also lessen congestion on Brunswick Road, Rumsey said.

The project will require installation of new poles to hold turn signals. Caltrans may install ornamental, historic-looking poles similar to those used for new traffic signals at Highway 49 and North Bloomfield Road near Nevada City.

Due to soil contamination from an old gas station, construction can only take place during the summer when the water table is low.

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