By JASON ECK
There's light at the end of the tunnel for those whose commute includes Sonora's busiest intersection Greenley Road and Mono Way.
The wider southbound section of Greenley Road and a new second lane from Guzzi Lane formerly Delnero Lane to the intersection with Mono Way should be open to traffic by Friday.
The busy stretch of road often has traffic backed up to Morning Star Drive in late afternoons when Sonora Elementary School lets out.
City Engineer Gerard Fuccillo said workers must still install traffic loops, complete a final layer of paving and stripe the new lane. He said that work should be done by Friday. Workers were busy paving Monday under bright sunshine and springlike temperatures.
Heavy rain in late December and early January slowed the project, being completed by On Grade Contracting of Jamestown for $279,000.
Beginning Friday, weather permitting, drivers will have two lanes from Guzzi Lane to the east entrance to Sonora Plaza. The road will break to three lanes from the shopping center entrance to the intersection with Mono Way.
Two of the lanes will be dedicated left-turn lanes for drivers headed east on Mono Way. The far west lane will be for traffic going straight or going west on Mono Way toward downtown Sonora.
The work is the first phase of a much larger project to be done over the next three years.
The entire Phase I, which will cost $410,000, is a temporary measure for a busy intersection that will get even busier when Sonora Community Hospital's new campus on Greenley Road opens this spring.
Phase 1 includes costs for right-of-way acquisition and engineering.
The phase is being funded with $550,000 in traffic mitigation fees paid to the city by Sonora Community Hospital. What is not spent on Phase 1 will go toward Phase 2, the permanent widening project.