Those traveling State Route 99 between Yuba City and Live Oak soon will find themselves exposed to a much greater risk of accidental death or injury as a result of the ill-conceived Caltrans’ plan to enhance what they peddle as “highway safety” at the Lomo Crossing intersection.
As of May 24, 2021, the Lomo Crossing intersection of Hwy 99 was reconfigured. Vehicles using Old Live Oak Blvd. and/or Encinal Road will only be able to enter Hwy 99 if they are merging into the flow of traffic in the lane nearest them. Neither crossing nor left-hand turns will be allowed from Encinal or Old Live Oak Blvd. onto Hwy 99. No more left-hand turns for southbound travel on Hwy 99 onto Old Live Oak Blvd. Sorry, you’ll have to wait and get off Hwy 99 at Eager Road approximately 2 miles south.
Aside from the inconvenience, this Caltrans’ plan for Lomo Crossing will result in much greater risk of serious accidents as it shifts traffic entering Hwy 99 at Lomo Crossing to Clark Road roughly one mile north. Arguably it “may” make the Lomo Crossing/Hwy 99 intersection “safer” but the net effect will be to create a much more dangerous roadway just one mile north.
Hwy 99 at Clark Road is a high speed, heavily travelled two-lane north/south state highway; there are little or no shoulders on the east or west side of the highway; poor visibility due to lighting and trees along the shoulders of Hwy 99; Union Pacific RR tracks border and are contiguous to the west side of Hwy 99 right-of-way; eastbound vehicles stopped, waiting to enter onto Hwy 99 from Clark Road will be straddling the RR tracks; and finally no merger lanes for traffic departing Clark Road and entering either north or southbound flow of travel.
Even before this remodel of Lomo Crossing, entering onto or crossing Hwy 99 at Clark Road has been a “suicide exercise.” This Caltrans’ engineering decision qualifies as what California law defines as a “dangerous and defective design” and will expose the State of California to legal liability for the inevitable resulting accidents. A “bad idea” by the State and a foolish waste of highway funds ($100K) that could be put to better use.
Drop a line to our Assemblyman James Gallagher and Senator Jim Nielsen and invite them to travel the Clark Road/Hwy 99 intersection at peak hours for a real look at an accident waiting to happen.
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