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Freshly-paved lane to freeway closed for months

Posted: 4:24 PM, Oct 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-30 01:29:02Z

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A frustrating mystery is plaguing commuters in Carmel Valley.

A seemingly perfectly good brand new lane meant to ease traffic to the 56 has been coned off for months. 

The project adds a third lane on southbound Camino del Sur from around Highland Village place to Highway 56. 

Greg Agius, who commutes that way, says it's been coned off for months. A city staffer told him it would be complete by the end of August, but on Monday it was still inaccessible to drivers. 

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Agius, who also bikes in the area, said it is making for a tight merge that has led to near fender benders. 

"It's backing up my commute," he said. "I've actually over the last three to four months had maybe half a dozen close calls."

The lane is meant to lighten the congestion in Carmel Valley, which is getting increasingly congested as more housing is built. Developer Lennar hired contractor MGI to add the lane as part of its approval for area housing projects. 

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"This is the one that baffles me the most because it's more dangerous what they've done with the cones than if the cones weren't here," Agius said. 

The problem rests with the traffic light at the intersection. It doesn't stretch far enough over to be visible to all cars in the new lane. 

Caltrans Spokesman Ed Cartagena gave an example of cars next to a semi-truck.

They wouldn't be able to see the traffic light if not in front of them. Cartagena said it needs to be extended before anyone can benefit from the new asphalt. 

He also noted recent other work on the lane, above and below ground, including removal of an electric box ten inches above ground.  

Either way, Cartagena said the new light should be installed by the end of the week, clearing the way for the lane to open. 

A city spokesman said the contractor had delays in obtaining the signal pole and mast-arm for the traffic light. A call to contractor MGI was not immediately returned.