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September 30, 2022

Work on Riverside-Lakeview roundabout continues

WATSONVILLE—Work continues on the major redesign of the heavily-traveled intersection of Highway 129 (Riverside Road) at Lakeview Road just east of Watsonville.

Caltrans spokesperson Kevin Drabinski said the project, which got underway in the spring, calls for the construction of a roundabout at the busy intersection near the city’s limits.

 “The plan is to make this area safer for traffic from both Highway 129 and Lakeview,” Drabinski said. “We are in the middle of constructing one half of the roadway (eastbound) and will work on the westbound side next month. Work is scheduled to complete sometime in October/November.”

The goal of the project is to reduce the potential and severity of broadside collisions.

Officials estimate that the roundabout, paid for by federal funds, will bring an anticipated 35% reduction in all crashes, 76% reduction in injuries and 90% drop in fatalities.

“Currently, the intersection is experiencing collisions at a higher rate than the statewide average for similar facilities,” Drabinski said.

The project will also lessen the need for road maintenance and will yield less wear and tear on vehicles, Drabinski said.

The design will be large enough to allow big rigs to make U-turns, Drabinski said. In addition, the roundabout design will include pedestrian crosswalks, and will treat bicycles as vehicles, Drabinski said.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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