Reader questions traffic routes around future Murray Street Bridge construction project

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Thanks for your update on the Murray Street Bridge project (Jan. 19, 2010). I am sure your readers would appreciate a future column on the following question: How does the city of Santa Cruz propose to control the flow of traffic? How will the traffic signals controlling access to Murray Street at both the Seabright and 7th Avenue intersections be set once the bridge has been reduced to one lane? Given the very heavy volumes of traffic moving in each direction and the very limited space for vehicles to wait until they get a green to cross the one lane bridge, a well thought out plan is clearly necessary. Gridlock is likely in any event and I expect backups to reach all the way back to and through downtown Santa Cruz. Bill Delaney, Capitola A: The city has studied the traffic control issue and will set up temporary traffic signals that will control alternating one-way flow, said Chris Schneiter, civil engineer for the city. "We have not yet determined the location of the traffic signals, but will do that once we finalize the design." The signal project will be coordinated with County Public Works, as was the original traffic study, he said. Saying that it's clear that East Cliff Drive/Murray Street will have reduced capacity for travelers, the city will use message boards, signage and press releases to encourage drivers to use alternate routes, said Schneiter. Expect to see those notices before and during construction, he said.
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