Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Kit's Corner signal gets green light

KELSEYVILLE It's a green light for the Kit's Corner stoplight, with Caltrans officials opening bids for the project this week.

In recent years, community concerns have mounted about Kit's Corner, which is located at the intersection of Highways 281 and 29, and the number of traffic accidents in the area.

That led Kelseyville-area residents, including Supervisor Rob Brown, to lobby Caltrans for a stoplight at the intersection.

Brown said he recently attended the District External Advisory Liaison – or DEAL – meeting in Laytonville, where he met with officials from Caltrans' District 1, which includes Lake County.

At that meeting, Brown reported that Caltrans District 1 Director Charles Fielder said they could break ground on the project by the end of June.

Brown said Fielder has been very helpful in seeing the request through.

Fielder had just joined Caltrans in the fall of 2004, said Brown, when the agency held a meeting at Konocti Harbor with area residents. The meeting, at times heated, revealed a widespread community desire to see a stoplight at the intersection.

At first, Caltrans said the intersection didn't meet the requirements for a stoplight. They did, however, express concerns about road safety near the intersection, and explained that they already had a project in mind to address it.

That $2.3 million sight distance improvement project at Kit's Corner, was completed in December 2005. The project included a 700-yard vertical road realignment, which essentially meant shaving down a hill so drivers could see farther. Caltrans said the project was meant to increase safety and visibility.

By the time that project was under way in the spring of 2005, Brown said he had met with Caltrans officials, who reconsidered the stoplight and decided to pursue it.

As Lake County News previously reported, Caltrans recently estimated the signal project would cost about $500,000, with the county paying only $33,000.

“We got a bargain on that deal,” said Brown.

However, it's possible that the project could cost less.

Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie said the project was advertised in April, and the Caltrans Office Engineer opened bids on Wednesday.

Electrical contracting and engineering firm Steiny and Co. of Vallejo was the tentative low bidder, Frisbie said, with a bid of $398,356, about $30,000 lower than the next bid. Frisbie said it will take a few weeks to certify Steiny and Co.'s bid as final.

Once that bid is final, work will likely get started soon, said Frisbie.

“We are expecting construction to start late this summer, and then complete before the onset of winter,” said Frisbie, who said that schedule is “weather permitting.”

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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