The controversial roundabout planned for the Highway 25/156 intersection at Hollister’s north end is moving forward and is on schedule, according to Caltrans.
Brandy Rider, the Department of Transportation project manager, reported in response to a Free Lance inquiry that the project is fully funded, its environmental review is completed and final designs and right-of-way acquisitions are scheduled for August 2020.
The $10.7 million project aims to make the busy intersection safer, Rider said.
Roundabouts are increasingly common in new residential developments, as a substitute for four-way stops. The state has begun using them at busy traffic-signaled intersections that have had high accident rates. New, successful roundabout projects in Tracy and Palmdale match Hollister’s traffic patterns, according to the state.
The plan is a short-term fix, however, as the state’s long-term vision is to realign and widen State Route 25 to four lanes and build an interchange at its connection to state Highway 156. No date or funding has been set for that new highway replacement for the jammed two-lane commuter route that Route 25 has become. The proposal to place an interchange at this location will not be finalized, under best case scenarios, until 2028, according to Caltrans.
Rider said construction on the roundabout could start as early as the summer of 2021 with a winter 2021 completion date.
“A roundabout will offer a good solution to safety and capacity problems at the intersection,” said Rider. “At intersections where roundabouts have been installed in California to replace existing intersections, collisions have been reduced. The purpose of this project is to reduce the severity of collisions and fatalities, and the roundabout would accomplish this.”
The roundabout is a 2-lane design, and state planners said it will be able to handle big rigs.
”Features to accommodate all the turning movements of a tractor trailer rig are included in this design,” Caltrans said in a recent report.