SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - Construction has begun on a new roundabout at the intersection of Highways 154 and 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Caltrans says the roundabout will keep traffic moving while reducing high speed collisions.
Caltrans says years of traffic studies and accident statistics show the intersection of State Highways 154 and 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley is dangerous.
Last november a motorcyclist was killed at the intersection which Caltrans says has a collision rate more than twice the state average.
Despite local opposition, Caltrans has begun work on a $3.3 million roundabout at the Hwy 154-246 intersection
Caltrans says the roundabout project will not only improve traffic circulation for the entire Santa Ynez Valley it will also improve traffic safety for what has been a notoriously dangerous intersection
Local residents we spoke with in nearby Santa Ynez are split on the roundabout.
"I'm not sure, sometimes I like roundabouts and sometimes I don't to be perfectly honest", one lady told Central Coast News, "they seem to work well in Europe but the ones down on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara I don't care for at all."
"I think there's going to be a learning curve on that, cause people as a rule have a hard time driving as it is", another local man said, "but I think it will be good once people get used to it."
Caltrans says traffic will be impacted during the 10 month construction period and is reminding motorists to slow for the cone zone or face stiff traffic violation fines.
Caltrans says the Hwy 154-246 roundabout could be completed by October.