Monterey County

Holman Highway roundabout breaks ground

Officials break ground on Highway 68 roundabout

CARMEL, Calif. - Monterey County leaders gathered Monday morning in Carmel for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Holman Highway 68 roundabout project.

"I commute here every day and being able to cut through here is going to be fantastic," said commuter Mark Lotz.

Not everyone is happy about the roundabout, though. Some people we interviewed earlier in the year said they were dreading it.

"Horrible idea, because we've seen a few little roundabouts in the neighborhoods and nobody even knows what to do with the roundabout," said commuter Megan Maron during an interview in May.

 Whether you are for the roundabout or against it, construction is set to begin on Wednesday.

The roundabout is being built where Highway 68 and Highway 1 meet -- an area that typically sees bumper-to-bumper traffic.

At the groundbreaking event, project organizers and leaders spoke about the benefits of the roundabout.

"I think anyone who has ever been through this intersection at rush hour realizes it's not a good situation. We need a new approach. I really think this a great approach." said Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe.

"From a safety, movement and environmental standpoint, it was the best," said Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson.

During the construction period, which is estimated to last 10 to 11 months, there will likely be delays at night and in the early-morning hours.

"Give yourself 10-15 extra minutes at night," said Grant Leonard, with the transportation agency. "And by night work, we mean after 8 p.m. and before 6 a.m."

With the traffic delays in mind, project leaders are advising people to alter the way in which they commute.

Monterey-Salinas Transit is also offering deeply discounted monthly passes for those most affected. The project is costing more than $8 million, but the funding is split between several cities and public organizations, with more than $5 million in private money coming from the Pebble Beach Company.

"This improvement will be a great benefit to our residents, our visitors and the employees of the Pebble Beach Company," said David Stivers, with the Pebble Beach Company. "We are really proud to be a part of this whole project."

The completion date is set for June of 2017. You can sign up for real-time traffic alerts at the TAMC website: http://www.tamcmonterey.org/programs/highway-projects/highway-68-roundabout/.


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