Caltrans starts construction on temporary roundabout for State Route 137 intersection, could lead to 10 or 20 minute delays
TULARE – Residents of Tulare are being thrown for a loop after the California Department Transportation (Caltrans) announced a one-way traffic control for construction of a temporary roundabout. Worse yet, they should expect delays.
One-way traffic operations, where drivers share a single lane on the road, began on Sept. 17 on Morrison Street and operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Caltrans announced the one-way traffic control north of State Route 137, or east Tulare Avenue, in Tulare on Sept. 16.
The roundabout will be temporary until there is a permanent installation of a new traffic light. According to Mario Anaya, city planner for Tulare, the temporary roundabout will improve current operations of the intersection until the traffic signal is installed.
“That intersection is already very heavily traveled,” Anaya said, “It’s not optimal for operation, the way it is now without the signal.”
According to Caltrans, construction of the temporary roundabout is expected to last until about mid-December. With the one-way traffic control undergoing operation, Tulare residents and other drivers should expect delays of up to about 10 to 20 minutes depending on traffic. Delays to construction operations can also be expected on days with unmanageable weather, like heavy rain. During non-working hours, State Route 137 will return to standard two-lane road operations.
Michael Miller, city engineer for Tulare, said getting approval for the traffic light from the state can take a significant amount of time, so the roundabout will serve as an interim measure until the signal is constructed.
The hours of operation for daily construction will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.