Troubled intersection may be fixed by next year
The long-maligned intersection near the Grass Valley post office could get a signal and be realigned with Bennett Street within a year.
The goal is to transform the three-way stop into a regular intersection to improve traffic flow downtown
The engineering plans are being drawn and a contractor could be hired this spring, city representatives say.
The project, estimated to cost $2 million, would entail the realignment of Richardson Street with Bennett Street and the installation of a signal at the new intersection.
Richardson, which now ends in a “T” at Washington Street, would be extended to East Main Street. The new stretch of road would travel through the former Toms Sierra gas station property that the city purchased for $865,000 earlier this year.
To create the route, the city purchased two properties on Washington Street for $118,000.
It has become increasingly dangerous to drive from Washington onto East Main, area workers say. “It’s pretty tough to get out of there,” Darren Kumetad, a baker at Hans’ Pastry Shoppe, said Thursday.
The signal at the Richardson/Bennett intersection needs to be installed before a roundabout is built at the nearby East Main Idaho Maryland intersection, city officials say.
Without a signal at the Richardson/Bennett intersection, cars could pile up along East Main all the way to Idaho Maryland. For that reason, Caltrans will not approve construction of a roundabout near the Golden Center Freeway until the signal at the intersection near the Grass Valley post office is installed, city representatives say.
Ed Sylvester of SCO Planning & Engineering Inc., the Grass Valley company hired to draw plans for the project, said parking and a small work force housing complex could be built on a portion of the land the city purchased.
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