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Santa Clarita: Tour of California will close some major roadways

Posted: April 4, 2013 6:38 p.m.
Updated: April 4, 2013 6:38 p.m.
Graphic from city of Santa Clarita shows road closures for Tour of California on May 14 Graphic from city of Santa Clarita shows road closures for Tour of California on May 14
Graphic from city of Santa Clarita shows road closures for Tour of California on May 14
Graphic from city of Santa Clarita shows road closures for the Tour of California on May 15 Graphic from city of Santa Clarita shows road closures for the Tour of California on May 15
Graphic from city of Santa Clarita shows road closures for the Tour of California on May 15

Traffic interruptions during the 2013 Amgen Tour of California will be unavoidable, Santa Clarita city officials said Thursday, adding they will limit drivers’ inconvenience as much as possible.

Major roadways throughout the Santa Clarita Valley — including Highway 126, Bouquet Canyon Road, McBean Parkway, Newhall Ranch Road, The Old Road and Valencia Boulevard — will all be subject to closures or traffic interruptions during the race’s two-day local run.

“We’re certainly sympathetic to the fact that some people will likely be inconvenienced,” said city spokesman Evan Thomason Thursday. “But we’re doing our best to minimize that.”

The Amgen Tour of California bicycle race runs from May 12 to May 19 and takes riders from Escondido to Santa Rosa. It passes through the Santa Clarita Valley on Tuesday, May 14, and Wednesday, May 15.

City officials released details of local road closures Thursday.

Those closures will be done on a rolling basis, Thomason said, with roads closed just ahead of bicyclists and reopened after they have passed through.

The city will be the end point of the bicycle race’s third stage and the start of its fourth stage.

The race’s third stage is scheduled to leave Palmdale at 11:20 a.m. May 14 and take racers more than 100 miles from Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale to Santa Clarita.

Riders will pass through Santa Clarita twice during Stage 3, according to city Arts and Events Administrator Phil Lantis.

In the first pass, riders will enter the city along San Francisquito Canyon Road at around 1 p.m., Thomason said.
San Francisquito will be closed from Copper Hill Drive to Elizabeth Lake Road to accommodate the race. Riders are expected to complete this section by 1:30 p.m.

From there, the race will run to Copper Hill and then onto The Old Road.

While that phase of the race is expected to take just 10 to 15 minutes, portions of the roads may be shut down for longer to give crews ample time to clear roadways of race materials. Thomason said.

From The Old Road, riders will travel along Lake Hughes Road and Elizabeth Lake Road to Bouquet Canyon Road.
Bouquet Canyon Road is expected to be closed to all traffic between Elizabeth Lake Road and Vasquez Canyon Road for more than an hour between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., according to the city.

Riders will re-enter the city around 3:30 p.m. on Bouquet Canyon Road at the intersection with David Way, according to the city. From there, riders will travel down Bouquet Canyon to Valencia Boulevard, then to Magic Mountain Parkway before the stage finish near Auto Center Drive.

That portion of the race will close westbound traffic on Bouquet Canyon Road and Valencia Boulevard for 25 to 45 minutes, according to the city.

Lantis said Thursday the city is hoping to avoid complete closures on some roads by containing bike riders to one side of traffic medians, allowing traffic to flow on the other side.

“Those medians are a blessing in some ways,” Lantis said.

Even though some lanes will remain open during the race on roads with medians, drivers should expect delays, according to the city.

Eastbound lanes on Magic Mountain Parkway between Citrus Street and Auto Center Drive will be closed for most of the day, starting at about 8:30 a.m., on May 14 to allow race officials to construct the stage finish, according to the city.

Westbound lanes in that stretch are expected to be closed for more than an hour between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to accommodate spectators.

The tour’s fourth stage will take off from Westfield Valencia Town Center around 12:35 p.m. May 15 and take riders down McBean Parkway to Newhall Ranch Road.

Riders will then exit the city on Highway 126.

On that day, northbound lanes on McBean could be closed from 12:20 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., according to the city. Westbound lanes on Newhall Ranch Road will also be closed for approximately 20 to 25 minutes between McBean and Highway 126.

The times of all road closures are subject to change depending on the speed of the race, Thomason said.

City officials are in the process of contacting residents and business owners along the race route to inform them of the road closures, Lantis said. Those residences and businesses will be contacted again about a week before the race, Lantis said.

“Our strategy across the board is trying to get as much information as possible to people who could be affected,” Lantis said.

Both Lantis and Thomason emphasized that, regardless of any closures, emergency vehicles will have full access to roadways in the Santa Clarita Valley, even during the race.

“The race will literally stop if it needs to,” Lantis said.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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