Caltrans permanently closes SR-163 Friars Road ramp - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Caltrans permanently closes SR-163 Friars Road ramp

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Caltrans has permanently closed the on-ramp from westbound Friars Road to southbound state Route 163 as big changes are made to the congested interchange in Mission Valley.

Motorists needing to get to the southbound SR-163 now must turn right from westbound Friars Road onto Ulric Street and then enter the freeway from the Ulric Street on-ramp, Caltrans officials said. The permanent closure just east of the Fashion Valley Mall is part of the SR-163 Friars Road Interchange Project.

"Caltrans construction crews need to close the on-ramp to add another right turn lane from westbound Friars Road to Ulric Street," Caltrans spokesman Hayden Manning said. "Crews will also build one dedicated right turn lane from northbound Ulric Street to southbound SR-163, and another lane with the option to right turn or continue straight on Ulric Street."

The $40 million project is expected to widen the Friars Road crossing over SR-163 and improve the on-ramps and off-ramps connecting Friars Road to the freeway. It will also add a southbound SR-163 auxiliary lane approaching the Friars Road off-ramp.

The project began last September and is expected to last two years. Residents in the area said the government gave them double-pane windows to help with construction noise - especially during the night.

For Bob Charlton, even if he hears the noise he said the construction is worth the improvement. "it's been really quit at night, so far. It's going to be a great thing when it is done."

The project has three phases. The current one, phase one, will also add bike lanes and a sidewalk. There is still no budget for phase two and three, but estimates put the cost at $182 million. Those phases would improve the SR-163 and Interstate-8 interchange.

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