Rio Rd. Construction Manager Letter, 4/16/18

You are correct it was a mess Saturday for NB traffic. The added Big Sur area visitor traffic due to Spring Break created more afternoon traffic volume that the controller at Rio Road can handle. I am meeting with Caltrans and the county to determine means to reduce the weekend afternoon traffic issues.

We are underway this week to modify Rio Road shopping center side so we can dedicate more signal time to weekend Northbound Highway 1.

We are also working with TAMC to determine if we can reroute Carmel Traffic away from the intersection. Lastly we attempted to flag the intersection to provide relief to northbound traffic but the flaggers pulled off the work as it was unsafe due to uncooperative drivers.


By the way this project was designed by a private firm on behalf of TAMC and the County of Monterey and Caltrans. It is also being constructed by private construction company. This is a congested area with no or few alternative routes, many past proposals to resolve highway congestion in the Carmel area have been met with resistance from the area communities. The existing pavement has aged to the point most of it has to be completely replaced adding to the size of the project and increased the impact to traffic.


In reference to your comment about a 24/7 work schedule the County of Monterey has a noise ordinance that precludes working at night with the exception of specific work.


Thank you for your comments, we will continue to work towards solutions to minimize delays.





Dan Miller
Construction Manager

9 thoughts on “Rio Rd. Construction Manager Letter, 4/16/18

  1. It’s not unusual to hire a policeman to manage traffic. Why is that not being done??? They can over-ride the traffic lights.

  2. shocking but apparently that IS addressed in the letter by : “Lastly we attempted to flag the intersection to provide relief to northbound traffic but the flaggers pulled off the work as it was unsafe due to uncooperative drivers. ” I would suppose these were uniformed but private flag people running the intersection, maybe MAYBE a uniformed/armed legal ‘officer’ would get a different result? but maybe not. authority is not respected the way it used to be, too many rats/”uncooperative drivers” in the cage. so many ‘sensible regulations’ have unintended consequences like not being allowed to work at night, even when that’s the sensible thing to do. cannot imagine the crazy that will happen if this goes on all summer

  3. Huge nightmare for locals to avoid for 4 month’s!!! Nice planning Cal Tran’s!! FAIL!!!

  4. I am wondering why the lanes south of Rio Rd and the westbound lanes on Rio Rd have to be cordoned off, considering the impact. I understand why it was done initially but think that it may need to be reconsidered. Maybe the barriers in these two areas could be removed each weekend, easing the horrible traffic. The financial cost might gladly be assumed by the Big Sur and Crossroads, and Carmel businesses impacted. I

  5. Being a longtime Carmel Highlands resident, I am reminded of these same traffic problems that used to exist every weekend/holiday prior to the existing NB climbing lane was installed some years ago. The problem is that the NB portion of the Hwy between Rio Rd and Carmel Valley Rd. gets clogged (not enough road capacity or bad signal timing – take your pick) by high NB traffic and vehicles exiting the Crossroads/Barnyard shopping area turning right at the Hwy 1/Rio Rd. intersection (especially being allowed to turn right on the red light). The intersection becomes impassible for NB through traffic. The other complicating problem is that all SB Hwy 1 traffic out of Carmel Valley is now routed out through Rio Rd. which causes severe congestion at this same intersection.

    This construction project was designend to address this long standing problem. Unfortunately, by leaving traffic control measures up to the private contractor, the problem becomes a construction engineering and cost issue rather than a community service priority.

    The immediatte solutions are known as many, in our community have recommended them during the planning stages of this project:

    Carmel Valley Rd./Hwy 1 intersection needs to be temporarily re-signalled to allow for SB traffic onto Hwy 1 from Carmel Valley Rd,.

    NB traffic out of the Crossroads/Barnyard shopping areas needs to be re-routed out through Carmel Valley Rd.

    Alternately, there needs to be two lanes exiting west-bound Rio Rd with the right lane for NB Hwy 1 traffic and with no right turn on the red light to better allow through traffic on Hwy 1 to get across the Hwy 1/Rio Rd. intersection.

    Signal timing between the Hwy 1/Rio and Hwy 1/Carmel Valley intersections need to be synchronized for coordinated traffic flow.

    During high traffic peak periods, there needs to be manual traffic control using a trained, uniformed law enforcement officers.

    We, in the communities affected, realize that we have to endure some temporary inconveniences to accomplish a long-term traffic solution – but this current situation is worse than necessary due to bad planning and implementation. It is also creating a public safety concern. Are first-responders going to be able to have timely access to our communities? This project will continue through fire season. We need a better solution.

  6. I also would like an explanation on why we need to close down the northbound lanes from the bridge to Rio Rd and the eastbound lanes on Rio on the weekends when no work is happening. Barriers could be removed and replaced on Monday if absolutely needed. I have not see why they are needed however.

  7. Those are great recommendations and observations Michael.

    Regarding “The added Big Sur area visitor traffic due to Spring Break created more afternoon traffic volume that the controller at Rio Road can handle”. Hhmmm it seems like the spring break rush has long since passed and Big Sur has been as quiet as it will be anytime between now and August, ie this problem is going to get much worse in May.

    There’s no sign of road work south of RIO . . . I’m not sure what the connection is between the added lane between Rio and CV and barricaded section on the south side of the intersection that is causing the backups.

  8. I agree. They are crawling slowly toward doing something meaningful to ameliorate this situation.

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