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November 23, 2022

Construction begins May 31 on Highway 25/156 roundabout

Project designed to reduce number, severity of crashes

Construction of a roundabout at the intersection of State Routes 25 and 156 will begin May 31—immediately following the Memorial Day holiday, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

The initial phase of construction will result in lane closures on the approach to the north Hollister intersection, from westbound Highway 156 and southbound 25, says a press release from Caltrans. Travelers will encounter a closure of the right lane on westbound Highway 156 as well as a closure of the right lane on southbound Highway 25 as they approach the intersection. These lane closures will be in effect 24 hours a day.

Travelers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes during construction, Caltrans said. Message and directional signs will be in place to advise travelers.

Message signs on Hwy. 25 and Hwy. 156 have been activated to advise that beginning June 8, speed limits throughout the construction zone will be reduced to 35 mph, the press release continues. The speed limits will apply to all four approaches to the intersection of the two highways and are necessary to provide for the safety of travelers and construction crews. During the first several months of the project, construction crews will be working immediately adjacent to the roadway and intersection.

Designed to improve safety, according to Caltrans, the roundabout project is expected to reduce the number and severity of collisions at the intersection of State Routes 25 and 156. The current signalized intersection has seen a pattern of broadside and rear end collisions due to a recurrence of vehicles illegally running red lights. 

The project is expected to be completed in April 2023, according to Caltrans. 

In locations where roundabouts have been installed in California to replace existing signalized intersections, they have proven to be effective solutions to safety and capacity issues, Caltrans continued. 

Since 2011, Caltrans has implemented a number of small projects that modified the existing signal at this intersection. These included adjusting the signal timing, installing “signal ahead” signs and flashing beacons, and upgrading the size of the signal heads. “Although these countermeasures have had some benefit, the replacement of the signalized intersection with a roundabout will achieve the overarching safety benefit of reducing the frequency and severity of collisions at this location,” Caltrans said. 

A rendering from Catrans shows the location and design of a new roundabout at Highways 156 and 25. Construction is scheduled to begin on May 31.

The press release continues:

Why is an interchange not being considered for this intersection? 

An interchange at SR25/156 is the long-range improvement planned as part of the larger SR 25 Expressway Conversion Project. The Measure G funded project to widen Highway 25 (to be completed over the coming years) will also include a permanent interchange at this intersection. The roundabout is a critical safety project designed to hasten the reduction of the number and severity of collisions at this intersection. The Caltrans State Highway Operation and Protection Program, which funds safety projects, identified the need to address immediate safety at this location. In the interim, Caltrans is addressing this safety need until the long-range plan for an interchange can be implemented.

How will the roundabout operate in a high speed setting?

Although the proposed roundabout is located at the junction of two high speed rural routes, the roundabout design would emphasize speed control. Design features would control the speed that vehicles enter, navigate, and exit the roundabout. Lower vehicle speeds provide more time for entering drivers to judge, adjust speed for, and enter a gap in circulating traffic, allowing for safer merges while reducing the frequency and severity of collisions.

Large trucks to be accommodated

The roundabout is a two-lane design and anticipates truck volumes for the intersection today and into the future. In accommodating the sweep of truck trailer wheels, a mountable truck apron is featured around the inside of the roundabout.

Updates will continue to be provided about this project in advance of and during construction.

The contractor for this $10.7 million construction project is Graniterock of San Jose, CA and the project is scheduled to be completed in April 2023.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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