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County may add to road improvement project for Sierra Highway

Posted: January 30, 2012 6:27 p.m.
Updated: January 30, 2012 6:27 p.m.

Plans are under way to bolster county road work on Sierra Highway, but a safety advocate say there's still quite a lot of ground to cover before the rural road is considered safe.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a recommendation calling for $41,000 to be added to the contract to widen Sierra Highway between Highway 14 and Pearblossom Highway.

The added cost includes: $2,500 to replace a damaged electrical pull box, $5,500 to move a street light out of a "possible damage" zone and $33,000 to replace a slope damaged by recent rains.

The latest cost increases, coupled with other county-approved changes, bring the total cost of the road-widening contract to $2.79 million, up from the original contract of $2.14 million.

Despite the cost and the cost increases, however, more must be done to improve the safety of Sierra Highway, says the Agua Dulce man who started a petition to bring about what he believes are necessary repairs.

"I would like to see what we requested of Supervisor Antonovich be followed up on," Bob Skerstonas said Monday. Skerstonas sent the supervisor a copy of the signatures he gathered on a petition to widen Sierra Highway.

"People at the hardware store in Agua Dulce keep asking me about the petition, so I know there's concern there," he said.

Skerstonas started a petition in July to improve the safety of a specific 10-mile stretch of Sierra Highway that's seen 210 accidents since 1997, he says.

Last summer he collected the names of at least 30 people calling on the county to make the highway safer.
Skerstonas gave Antonovich a copy of his petition "to correct one of the most dangerous 10 miles of road in Southern California."

It reads in part: "We are petitioning Supervisor Mike Antonovich to make all necessary road corrections to this section of Sierra Highway between Vasquez Canyon Road to Caprock Road as soon as possible."

In the last 14 years, at least 18 fatal accidents have occurred on the 10-mile stretch of Sierra Highway, according to statistics supplied to him by a local officer of the California Highway Patrol, Skerstonas says.
At least two of those crashes claimed multiple lives, Skerstonas said.




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