Peaceful Oak interchange

Caltrans placed black coverings over many road signs on Highway 108 near Peaceful Oak Road in early March to prepare for a project to build a new eastbound onramp and westbound off-ramp that's set to begin on April 19.

A nearly $8 million project to add an eastbound onramp and westbound off-ramp on Highway 108 at Peaceful Oak Road is scheduled to begin this month and could lead to some traffic delays in the early stages, Caltrans announced Thursday in a news release.

Sierra Mountain Construction, based in Sonora, will perform the work after winning the contract as the lowest qualified bidder at $7.86 million. The project is scheduled to get underway on April 19 and be completed late this year.

The long-delayed ramps were originally part of the $53 million second phase of the East Sonora Bypass project that was completed in late 2013 and created a two-lane expressway from Peaceful Oak Road to Via Este, but had to be set aside at the time to cut costs.

Drivers currently must extend their travel to an adjacent interchange if they intend to go east on Highway 108 from Peaceful Oak Road, or if they are heading west on the highway and want to get off at the road.

“This project will reduce the time for residents and travelers to exit or enter Highway 108 from Peaceful Oak Road,” Caltrans said in the release, adding that traffic signals will also be installed at the bottom of both new ramps.

The release warned that highway traffic will be impacted initially while construction crews put a K-rail in place and use one-way traffic control to manage the initial work,  but impact on highway and street traffic should be minimal throughout much of the project.

Highway 108 is the primary east-west route for residents and businesses in Tuolumne County, as well as being popular with skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts seeking recreational opportunities along the corridor.

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