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Expect traffic delays, detours as Morro Bay Water Reclamation Facility construction continues

Embarcadero Road Lift Station
Courtesy: Morro Bay WRF Program Team
Embarcadero Road Lift Station

The Water Reclamation Facility Project is making progress in Morro Bay after beginning construction in March of 2020.

The new facility is replacing Morro Bay’s current wastewater treatment plant. It will add a water purification element to provide up to 80 percent of the city’s water needs.

According to Morro Bay City Manager Scott Collins, the treatment plant is making good progress.

Collins said the city has tried to minimize impacts to residents and businesses in the area of construction so far. But, he said, people in the area will see more impacts when pipeline construction moves onto South Bay Boulevard in the coming weeks.

“We were hopeful that we could maintain a one-lane-open situation so that people could easily access the highway there, the treatment facility and also the convalescent homes that are just up north of that," Collins said. "But unfortunately that’s not possible without putting workers at risk and also people driving by.”

Collins said the conditions underneath South Bay Boulevard make it unsafe to keep one lane open. So the road will be closed temporarily between Quintana Road and Highway 1.

“So what this means is that folks who are coming from Los Osos, who typically get on the highway right there at South Bay Boulevard, won’t be able to access the highway on Quintana, either making a left to go up towards Morro Bay or going right if they want to go into San Luis Obispo,” Collins said.

Drivers coming from Los Osos will need to take Quintana Road north or south to the next exit to be able to access Highway 1 in either direction.

Rerouting Plan for South Bay Boulevard Closure
Courtesy: City of Morro Bay
Rerouting Plan for South Bay Boulevard Closure

If people are driving from North Morro Bay, and typically get off at South Bay Boulevard, Collins said they can get off at Morro Bay Boulevard instead.

A representative of Casa de Flores, a senior living center next to the construction in Morro Bay, told KCBX News they haven't seen any huge impacts. They also said they don't expect to see any problems moving forward.

Collins said people dropping their kids off at school in the area or driving to work during typical commute hours should prepare for at least a five to ten minute delay.

Collins said the closure on South Bay Boulevard is expected to go into effect December 27 and last about eight weeks, weather dependent. He said the anticipated rain coming throughout the rest of the month could cause delays.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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