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Caltrans Permanently Closing Northbound SR-163 Off-Ramp To Friars Road

A graphic showing the new signal and on-ramp to Friars Road east from northbo...

Credit: Caltrans San Diego

Above: A graphic showing the new signal and on-ramp to Friars Road east from northbound state Route 163. The original on-ramp to Friars Road east was permanently closed on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.

Caltrans is closing an off-ramp in Mission Valley on Tuesday night as part of a major transportation project aimed at reducing congestion and making the area’s roads safer.

At 9 p.m. Tuesday, Caltrans will permanently close the northbound highway 163 off-ramp to eastbound Friars Road. Starting Wednesday morning at 5 a.m., traffic will be diverted to the westbound Friars Road exit. There will also be a new traffic light installed on Friars Road, just east of the bridge that crosses the 163. There will be a left turn signal for drivers heading east on Friars Road.

A Caltrans spokesman said the changes will make driving on that section of the road less harrowing. For example, drivers will no longer have to weave through five lanes of traffic to make the turn between Interstate 8 and Friars Road.

“It's going to make it easier to move so that people will notice hey, I'm not crossing as many lanes of traffic you're not going to see people stopping in the middle of Friars Road because they're trying to get over,” Manning said.

Reported by Priya Sridhar , Video by Kris Arciaga

The westbound Friars Road exit will open with two lanes. By November, Caltrans says the road will be widened to three lanes.

Motorists interviewed Tuesday by KPBS weren’t convinced that the project will make things better.

“The ramp closing is going to be kind of difficult like everything around here,” said Montana Donahue. “There's grocery shops and everything so if I come down here at the wrong time and I'm trying to come right back, I would have to go all the way around. It's kind of really inconvenient.”

Caltrans is telling drivers to give themselves extra time starting Wednesday to get used to the new traffic pattern.

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Aired: August 21, 2019 | Transcript

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