The misery may be almost over for San Marcos residents and vendors who battle daily with the traffic-choked intersection of Nordahl road at Highway 78.
Caltrans officials said Thursday the wider, more accessible Nordahl Road bridge should be fully open to motorists by the first week of November.
“We are basically getting this project done in half the time from what we predicted,” said Gustavo Dallarda, the corridor director for the project.
The $11 million project is located just south of the busy Walmart and Costco shopping center, and just north of the new Palomar Medical Center.
Crews started widening and heightening the bridge in February. It’s one of three projects in the area totaling $41.1 million, and aimed at easing eastbound congestion on Highway 78 and speeding traffic along the bridge.
Half the new bridge opened in July with wider ramps following a weekend shutdown of both the ramp and bridge.
Tonight, crews are pouring concrete for the driving surface of the second half of the bridge, Dallarda said.
“Motorists will really start to see the difference in that first week of November,” Dallarda added. “The traffic will be able to flow at a much easier pace.”
So far, the construction hasn't been easy on local businesses and workers.
“My concern is that our sales have dropped because of the construction, and it has been going on for awhile now. And I cannot wait for this to be done,” said Elsa Wilkins, a Valero store attendant.
Wilkins said many customers mistakenly think the gas station is closed because of all the construction in front.
Dallarda said there will be no further daytime closures of the bridge, but nighttime closures from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. will continue through October.