EUREKA- Highway 101 in Eureka is the main route people use to get through town, but there are issues drivers face. In the special report, Broadway Bottleneck, News Channel 3 takes a closer look at what those problems are and what is being done about them.
Right now, driving on Highway 101 in Eureka, Caltrans Traffic Engineers estimate it takes 11 minutes to get from V Street to Kmart, a distance of just over four miles. For the last few years, Caltrans has been working to reduce that time, while making the route safer as well.
Caltrans officials predict a 25 percent increase in traffic on Highway 101 in Eureka over the next 20 years. Eureka ranked 3rd in accident rates for a city of its size in 2008, 2009 and 2010 by the California Office of Traffic Safety. A third of all those collisions happen on Broadway, 4th and 5th. Three people have died on the route so far this year. To address these issues, Caltrans completed a Broadway Feasibility Study in February, a multi-year report made through community input and traffic data analysis. The study will serve as a template for all future projects. Right now, Caltrans is in preliminary stages for an adaptive signal program, which would adjust the timing of signals to help improve traffic flow. The agency is also looking at extending medians to limit where cars can turn. However, the completion of any potential projects would be years down the road.
"The goal of Caltrans is to work with our partners and manage traffic and allow people to have access to the essential goods and services that they want to get to. I think that the existing facility does that. There are always improvements that can be made and we'll work hard to make those improvements as time and money allows," said Brad Mettam, the Deputy District Director for Planning and Local Assistance for Caltrans, District 1.
The most congestion is expected to occur between now and Christmas. Tune in on Tuesday at 6 and 11 for Part 1 of Broadway Bottleneck.