Bay News Los Osos News

Los Osos to Get New Stoplight

Los Osos, which once upon a time had zero traffic lights, will soon get another one at a troublesome intersection.
San Luis Obispo County on Sept. 18 awarded a construction contract to Lee Wilson Electric Company, Inc., 
in the amount of $345,473 
to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Nipomo Avenue and South Bay Boulevard in Los Osos. That’s a T-intersection and can be dangerous due to sight limitations from Nipomo looking south towards LOVR. The contract includes $34,500 
in contingencies for a total project cost of $379,973.
“Installation of a traffic signal is warranted based on traffic volumes and collision history at this location,” reads a staff report. “The traffic signal has been planned under the adopted Los Osos Circulation Study and Road Improvement Fee Program.”
County estimates for the total project costs was $601,773 and the County had budgeted a total of $628,000 spread out over several years. Money is coming from the U.S. Highway Administration (federal gas taxes), road improvement fees (paid by developers), and the County road fund.
The engineer’s estimate for the job was $343,240 and Lee Wilson’s bid was 1-percent over at $345,473. The only other bidder, R. Burke Const., came in at $395,070.
New stoplights are a rarity in the North Coast. Up through the early-mid 1990s, Los Osos didn’t have a single traffic light, instead had 4-way stop signs at busy intersections or in some cases, no traffic signs at all.
Even now, the town of some 14,000-plus residents has but seven stoplights — three on South Bay at Los Osos Valley Road, El Moro Avenue and Santa Ysabel Avenue; and four along LOVR at 9th and 10th Streets, as well as Palisades and Doris Avenues.
Indeed, traffic lights are pretty scarce throughout the Estero Bay communities with just three in Morro Bay — two on Hwy 1 at San Jacinto and Yerba Buena Streets; and one at Main Street and Quintana Road — and just one in Cayucos at Hwy 1 and Old Creek Road.
Construction of the new stoplight at SBB and Nipomo is expected to get underway in “Winter 2019” and be done in about 60 days. Motorists can expect delays through the construction zone and might want to avoid the intersection all together.

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