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Southwest Construction Services given BES traffic improvements contract

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Bonsall Unified School District awarded Southwest Construction Services, Inc., the construction contract for operational traffic improvements around Bonsall Elementary School.

A 5-0 BUSD board vote June 15 approved a $212,864 contract with Southwest Construction Services, which is based in Lakeside, for the work. The scope of work includes modifying the existing drop-off route, a parking lot overlay, traffic striping, signage, bollards, and barrier arm gates.

“We’re significantly increasing the queue ability,” said BUSD Superintendent Joseph Clevenger.

In October 2021, the BUSD board approved an agreement with AlphaStudio Design Group to develop studies for improving traffic flow at Bonsall Elementary School. The Jan. 19 BUSD board meeting included a presentation by AlphaStudio principal architect Paul Gallegos on the operational plan which focuses on traffic flow on Old River Road and Camino Del Rey.

“We have a little bit of a congestion issue around the elementary school,” Clevenger said.

AlphaStudio Design Group conducted field work comprised of visual observations to document the existing pickup and drop-off traffic congestion conditions, compiled and analyzed the findings to determine deficiencies in the current traffic flows, held information gathering meetings with BUSD staff and outside agencies, identified potential revisions to automobile and pedestrian traffic patterns and drive improvements, provided a preliminary construction cost estimate, and developed a report summarizing all findings and recommendations.

The plan presented Jan. 19 included a vehicle entry left turn and a vehicle entry right turn on Old River Road, a future traffic circle at Old River Road and Camino Del Rey, a fire access lane to the Bonsall Community Center, a pedestrian crosswalk, a vehicle traffic flow dual lane for loading and passing, a drop-off and pick up zone, a bollard barrier on each side of the drive, a vehicular gate 20 feet from Camino Del Rey, a signalized intersection at Calle de las Brisas which will be optimized at drop-off and pickup times, and a vehicle exit from Calle de las Brisas to Camino Del Rey.

The traffic flow optimization takes into account the Rio Estrella development, which was called Golf Green Estates when the subdivision map for 94 residential lots was approved, and the future Bonsall Community Park. “In the next couple of years there will be a state-of-the-art county park across the street,” Clevenger said.

Because a county park will be involved, the school district has been working with the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation as well as the county’s Department of Public Works and the office of County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

Performing the work in phases not only spreads out the expense over multiple fiscal years but also allows the work to be performed when school is not in session. The pedestrian access improvements will be part of Phase II, and any improvements involving county right-of-way will need to undergo the County of San Diego process.

The March 16 BUSD board meeting included a 5-0 vote to authorize the advertisement for bids to construct the Phase I improvements. Bids were due June 8. The Phase I work will be performed this summer.


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