Saturday, 13 April 2024

Caltrans finishes stop sign installation at Highway 53 and Olympic; crash reported

CLEARLAKE – This week Caltrans completed the installation of stop signs meant to help cut down on crashes at the intersection of Highway 53 and Olympic Drive in Clearlake, but the change in traffic flows resulted in a crash on Tuesday.

Phil Frisbie, a Caltrans spokesman, said on Wednesday that the agency had changed the intersection – which previously had a stop sign from Olympic onto Highway 53 – to an all-way stop.

Frisbie said the agency also installed advance warning signs and rumble strips to alert motorists of the upcoming stop.

The intersection's alterations, Frisbie said, are interim measures to improve safety and will remain in

place until traffic signals are installed.

The signals have been merged into a larger highway rehabilitation project, which will also provide wider shoulders, longer turn pockets at intersections, and repave over four miles of Highway 53 from just north of 40th Avenue to just south of Highway 20, he said.

The total project, including the intersections new traffic lights, is expected to be completed by the

fall of 2012, Frisbie said.

Area motorists are still getting used to the new signs, which appear to be catching some of them off guard.

Shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday two vehicles collided at the intersection, according to Clearlake Police Lt. Craig Clausen.

He said that one car was stopped at the intersection and was rear-ended by another vehicle that failed to make the stop and was traveling at abut 55 miles per hour at the time of the crash.

Both drivers were taken to the hospital with complaints of neck, back and face pain, Clausen said.

Caltrans urged motorists to drive with caution and slow down as they approach the intersection, and to be alert for inattentive drivers who may not notice the new stop signs.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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