County will redesign dangerous curve on Lucas Valley Road

04/21/2021

A hairpin turn on Lucas Valley Road will be realigned this summer to soften a curve that has been the site of numerous accidents. Just east of the Big Rock trailhead, the Department of Public Works will install a 135-foot retaining wall, allowing the road to shift out from the hill and a guardrail to be added. A traffic study found that from 2004 to 2014, 17 people were severely injured in crashes along the curve, and nine vehicles ran off the road. An oil tanker surpassing the road’s 36-foot limit twisted over the edge in 2019, spilling more than 2,000 gallons of gasoline into a dry creek bed below. Construction is expected to begin in midsummer and should be completed before the end of the year. Though the exact schedule and traffic plan won’t be determined until a contractor has been selected, it is likely that the westbound lane will be closed for the duration of the project. Alternating one-way traffic would be allowed, with some full closures possible because of the tight working space, according to a press release from D.P.W. The $2.25 million project is funded by a $1 million federal highway safety grant and the county’s road and bridge rehabilitation fund.