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[whitespace] Caltrans plans to resurface Highway 17 in the summer

Los Gatos--With an estimated 65,000 riders a day, Highway 17 is by far and away the most popular roller coaster in the Bay Area. But all those bouncing SUVs have taken their toll on the accident-prone highway, and Caltrans will soon be stepping in to resurface the road on both sides of the hill.

Both lanes in both directions of the highway will be repaved on the Santa Cruz County side and the northbound lanes from the summit to Highway 9 will be redone on Santa Clara County's side. Two separate Caltrans districts maintain the mountain highway--district 4 to the south and district 5 in Los Gatos and the rest of the Bay Area.

District 4 is ahead right now, with a commitment of $1.5 million for the repaving that will cover the highway from the summit down to Scotts Valley. The pavement will include small pores, which should allow for more efficient drainage and less hydroplaning.

Work on the Santa Cruz half of the mountain will be done from 7:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. for the most part. After Memorial Day Caltrans will be out working from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

District 5 is still in the bidding stages, according to Caltrans public information officer Lauren Wonder. Bidding will close by the end of May, and Wonder said the work should start sometime this summer. Due to budget constraints, only the northbound lanes will be resurfaced.

Wonder said the work times have not been set, but the majority of construction will be done during off-peak weekday hours.
Nathan R. Huff

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Web extra to the April 20-26, 2000 issue of Metro.

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