Highway 17 has long had a reputation as one of the most dangerous highways in the state. The shoulders are narrow shoulders and the road turns sharply, often with blind curves ahead. Then there is the weather—rain, ice, and the occasional snowfall make 17 especially slippery. Add to that increasing traffic density and the possibility of a deer wandering onto the highway, and this vital artery can become a nightmare for drivers, even along the Safety Corridor connecting Los Gatos with Scotts Valley.
Hopefully that will all change soon. On Sunday night, Caltrans crews began resurfacing the highway and building a new drainage system along the section running from Summit Road and one mile south of the Bear Creek Road overcrossing. The project also includes upgrades to the guard rails and the concrete median dividing the highway.
So as to ensure minimal interference with the normal flow of traffic, roadwork will only take place at night from Sunday to Thursday, starting at 9pm and ending at 6pm. During that time, only one lane will be open to traffic in either direction. Traffic will flow normally during daylight hours, when the road is most heavily travelled. The $18 million project is expected to last until the year’s end.