Two upcoming traffic enhancement projects in the city of Santa Clarita are planned to address safety concerns and traffic in problematic areas, and the city will soon receive about $2.6 million in funding to improve access at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and alleviate known chokepoints during peak hours at multiple signalized locations.
In March, President Joe Biden signed the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2022, authorizing federal funding that the city will utilize to address circulation and safety improvement. The Henry Mayo and chokepoint projects were included in the House of Representatives and Senate versions of the bill by Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California.
“Traffic safety and circulation continue to be a top concern for residents and a main priority of the City Council,” said Mayor Laurene Weste, “particularly as they relate to access for emergency vehicles and visitors at Henry Mayo. We send our sincere thanks to Congressman Garcia and Senator Padilla for recognizing the importance of these projects and the benefit they will bring to the residents of Santa Clarita.”
According to city officials, the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital ingress and egress access improvements project is being funded for $1.12 million and will address vehicle access and safety surrounding the hospital. The project will construct a right-turn pocket entering the hospital campus.
The city will also add a right-turn lane on the other side of McBean Parkway at Orchard Village Road, according to City Engineer Damon Letz. Currently, if motorists are on McBean turning right at the intersection onto Orchard Village in front of the hospital, they might have to wait behind motorists who are going straight. Adding that right-turn lane should move that traffic along much faster.
Letz said that they’ll adjust the median to create space for the two turn lanes on each side of McBean.
Additionally, the city will address chokepoints at five locations that back up during peak hours. Those locations include Newhall Ranch Road at Copper Hill Drive, McBean Parkway at Newhall Ranch Road, Soledad Canyon Road at Sand Canyon Road, Gailxy Avenue at Soledad Canyon Road, Golden Valley Road at Valley Center Drive, and Copper Hill Drive at Rio Norte Drive.
According to the city, this circulation and safety improvement project is being funded for $1.5 mllion.
“The main focus is to reduce traffic,” Letz said, “which also translates into a safer experience for the motorists.”
Letz added that some of this work in these areas could involve detours, but most often will result in lane closures.
“We don’t like to shut down roads completely,” he said, “and I don’t know that we’ll have to do that on these.”
As for when the city will get the funding to begin the projects, Letz said that a timetable has not been set.
“All of the different federal agencies that are in charge of that money have to come up with a guideline and timeline to disburse those funds,” Letz said. “And we don’t have that yet.”
Once the city gets that timeline, he added, they’ll be able to put together a timeline of their own for the projects.