Barrier to go up on Hwy 17 at Laurel Road today

Highway 17 commuters should leave their homes early this morning, as Caltrans plans to close off the fast lane in the southbound direction at 8 a.m. and the northbound fast lane will be shut down at 8:30 a.m., weather permitting. Th closure is part of the agency's plan to install a temporary barrier to close off a turn lane that gives southbound motorists access to Laurel Road, an area prone to traffic collisions including a fatal crash last week. If rain occurred overnight, the work will take place later in the morning; however, of precipitation continues, the work will be postponed to another day. When the project does get underway, it will take two days to complete. Meanwhile, Caltrans also will proceed with plans to erect a curve warning sign along the southbound direction of Highway 17 near Laurel curve. The agency also will install an experimental high-friction pavement treatment in the area, as well. Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down for the cone zone and drive safely in the remaining weeks of wet weather. In fact, the next big storm is expected to hit this weekend. For information about this and other projects in Santa Cruz County, call (831) 423-0396 or visit For statewide traffic conditions, call (800) 427-7623. RTC calls on drivers to behave on Hwy 17 In other news, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, which has partnered with Caltrans, the CHP, two transit districts, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for the San Francisco Bay Area and funded many safety oriented projects for Highway 17, including establishing it s a safety corridor, says drivers must do their part to increase safety on the road. "The efforts by all partners in this task force have dramatically, reduced injuries and fatalities on Highway 17," said Karena Pushnik, agency spokesperson and senior transportation planner. "Even with these coordinated efforts, drivers play a very critical role in their own safety. Unfortunately, the majority of incidents result from individuals driving faster than the speed limit or faster than is prudent for driving conditions especially during wet weather." Pushnik also thanked the media for its efforts to keep drivers honest. "Continued education is critical and your work through Street Smarts and other Sentinel articles is greatly appreciated," she said. "Thank you." Learn about ways the RTC helps keep Highway 17 safe via this Motorist Services link
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