A Sacramento judge ordered Caltrans to halt plans to block left-turn access to and from Highway 101 at four points between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo because of a lawsuit filed by Vintage Wine Estates, the owner of Laetitia Winery.
Caltrans had scheduled construction to begin Monday night, said Caltrans District 5 public information officer Jim Shivers. However, in response to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, a Sacramento County judge ordered a temporary halt to construction.
“This is due to a legal challenge filed in a Sacramento County court against the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to stop the project,” Shivers said. “The assigned judge has ordered a temporary stay while the merits of the case are litigated. It’s uncertain how long this project will be suspended.”
On Oct. 6, 2018, Jordan Grant, 18, was riding his motorcycle southbound on Highway 101 near El Campo Road. A man living in the Falcon Ridge Estates on the west side of Highway 101 attempted to make a left turn onto the highway and pulled out in front of Grant’s motorcycle, killing the Cal Poly student.
Grant’s parents, James and Becky Grant, lobbied local officials and Caltrans to stop allowing left hand turns across four lanes of the highway. In April, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments board voted in favor of restricting left turns at the deadly Highway 101 intersections in South County.
In the lawsuit, Vintage Wine Estates alleges Caltrans violated environmental regulations by exempting the project from the California Environmental Quality Act. In addition, the litigants contend the closures were politically motivated.