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New Hwy 1 auxiliary lane opens Wednesday

Posted: Friday, Oct 4th, 2013

On Wednesday construction crews will open a new auxiliary lane (at right) on southbound Highway 1 between Morrissey Boulevard and Soquel Avenue as part of completing the Morrissey/Highway 1 Auxiliary Lanes project. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

SANTA CRUZ A major turning point in the Highway 1/Morrissey Auxiliary Lanes project comes Wednesday when construction crews will open the new southbound auxiliary lane between Morrissey Boulevard and Soquel Avenue. The move should ease traffic buildup in the area, allowing motorists exiting southbound Highway 1 on Soquel a new mile of lane to do so.

Night work will take place Monday and Tuesday between the 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for crews to stripe the north and southbound lanes, said Karina Pushnik of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. Temporary lane closures will be in place for the operations in order to keep one highway lane open in each direction. Traffic will not be detoured onto local roads.

An open-graded asphalt concrete was used to pave the final surface of the new lanes resulting in quieter surfaces with better drainage.

The new southbound auxiliary lane is scheduled to open immediately following striping at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The overall project calls for a new lane in both directions of Highway 1 between Morrissey Boulevard and the Soquel Avenue exit, a distance of approximately one mile. An auxiliary lane connects an on-ramp with the next off-ramp but is not designed for use by through traffic. That segment of Highway 1 has historically been the busiest section in the county, carrying more than 100,000 vehicles a day.

The project is expected to wrap up in late fall.

In addition, Caltrans has directed that an additional drain line be constructed on the northbound side to supplement the existing system installed when the retaining wall was first constructed.

Crews are currently completing a concrete drainage ditch behind a new sound wall.

No further highway detours are planned and crews will soon remove detour signs along Soquel, Morrissey and the new and recently opened La Fonda Bridge, a 187-foot bridge two-lane bridge that replaced the original bridge built in the 1940s.

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