Government / Politics

Intersection at San Juan-Hollister and Union to become cul-de-sac

Change is part of $105.9 million Highway 156 Improvement Project.
Intersection via Google Maps.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors approved replacing the intersection at San Juan-Hollister Road and Union Road with a cul-de-sac during its Feb. 5 meeting.

The cul-de-sac would be on the south end of San Juan-Hollister Road, with a county-maintained access gate for emergency vehicles.

The change is part of a revision to the $105.9 million Highway 156 Improvement Project, anticipated to construct about five miles of four-lane highway from the Alameda in San Juan Bautista to Business Route 156 near Hollister. According to the Caltrans fact sheet, a final design is expected in October, with construction anticipated to begin in July 2020 and end in August 2022.

The proximity of the Union Road intersections with State Route 156 and Hollister-San Juan Road—which run parallel to each other—have caused traffic congestion and safety concerns related to high speed and visibility, according to the meeting agenda. The two intersections are about 100 feet apart, according to Google Maps.

Supervisor Anthony Botelho said residents in the San Juan-Hollister Road area are in favor of the cul-de-sac.

“It just makes everything flow better,” Botelho said.

Resource Management Agency Director John Guertin said the design was not final. County engineers still need to decide where the cul-de-sac will be, Guertin said, to maximize cost savings. Guertin also said a project of this size is “a wash” for Caltrans, which needs to revise and approve the changes.

Supervisors Jim Gillio and Jaime De La Cruz said they supported the new design, so long as it doesn’t delay the project or increase its costs.

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Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is BenitoLink Co-Editor and Content Manager. He joined BenitoLink as reporter intern and was soon brought on staff as a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily. He is a USC Center for Health Journalism 2020 California Fellow.