After years of planning, relief is on the horizon for motorists who use the busy Los Osos Valley Road/U.S. 101 interchange in San Luis Obispo. The City of San Luis Obispo is ready to proceed on the long-awaited project, after the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments’ announcement earlier this month that the funding is in place for construction. The current three-lane Los Osos Valley Road interchange was built in 1962. As the city and population has grown, the interchange is in need of structural repair and widening to improve travel conditions and make it more accessible to a variety of transportation types.
The project went out to bid for contractors on July 5th and construction is scheduled to start this fall. The project is planned to be completed within 18 months. A pre-bid meeting has been scheduled for July 22 at 10am, to be held at City Hall. The City has hired Project Manager Jason Bennecke, PE to lead the construction project and MNS Engineers has been selected as the construction management firm. The project is a collaborative effort between the City, the County and Caltrans. As the project sponsor, the City will manage the $18 million interchange project, with Caltrans providing oversight during the construction phase of the project since the majority of the improvements are within the Caltrans’ right-of-way.
The project will construct a new bridge on Los Osos Valley Road (LOVR) over U.S. 101. The current bridge, which has an average of 26,300 vehicles that travel over it each day, has three 11 ft lanes (one eastbound, two westbound) and one sidewalk. The new bridge will provide two additional eastbound lanes for traffic relief on this busy roadway, in addition to sidewalks and bike lanes. When complete, LOVR will have two 12 ft lanes for westbound traffic, two 12 ft lanes for eastbound traffic, pedestrian sidewalks and bike lanes in both directions. The project also includes widening the adjacent bridge crossing San Luis Obispo Creek and upgrading all four on- and off-ramps at the interchange. A separate landscaping project will follow the completion of the construction to create a welcoming gateway to the city.