Northbound traffic to be closed Mayandndash;August for safety improvements

A project that will make it easier for pedestrians to share Pebble Beach Drive with motorists could also mean long detours for the residents who live on the scenic lane.

The Pebble Beach Drive Safety Project will start May 1 and is expected to be finished by the end of August, the Del Norte County engineering division announced last week. The road will be open to southbound traffic only during that time, according to the announcement.

"It's to minimize confusion," said Assistant Engineer Rosanna Bower. "A lot of residents will be able to (use) some of the side streets and get to their homes from a southbound direction."

Many residents whose homes can only be accessed from Pebble Beach Drive will have to travel all the way to Washington Boulevard to get to their driveways, Bower said.

The project will include a mile-long stretch of Pebble Beach Drive between the Crescent City limits and Hemlock Avenue. The work itself will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the day, but the traffic control will be in place until the project is finished in late August.

The project will include paving and widening the road's shoulders to 4andndash;5 feet on both sides, according to a Nov. 12 Board of Supervisors staff report. Workers will also reconstruct the Pacific Avenue intersection, eliminating the right hand turn lane to avoid accidents, and will add 260 feet of curb, gutter and sidewalk near the intersection.

The project also includes installing drainage infrastructure to reduce bluff erosion. It will be constructed by Tidewater Contractors Inc., whose $586,361 bid was approved by the Board of Supervisors in February.

Bower said the county will install three changeable message signs on Washington Boulevard and on Inyo Street near the intersection with Pacific Avenue reminding motorists about the construction. She said the county sent notices to those residents whose homes can only be accessed from Pebble Beach Drive.

"Someone who can get to their house from a street other than Pebble Beach aren't going to receive notices," Bower said.

Ninety percent of the project is being funded through the Highway Safety Improvement Program, with 10 percent of the funding coming from the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission's Regional Surface Transportation Program, according to the county.

The improvements should provide some breathing room along the scenic stretch for pedestrians who currentlycan find themselves within inches of the side mirrors of passing vehicles.

For more information about the project, call the engineering division at 707-464-7229.