Work begins on road improvements near Jamul Casino

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JAMUL, Calif.  – Some much-needed road improvements are on the way to the East County Community of Jamul.

“The Jamul Indian Village has always been here eager to contribute to our community,” said Erica Pinto, Chairwoman Jamul Indian Village.

Pinto announced Tuesday the Jamul Indian Village has made a $3.7 million commitment to San Diego County for improvements to county roadways. Among the improvements is a new traffic light at the intersection of Highway 94 and Lyons Valley Road.

“I’ve been here all my life. I witnessed many accidents, many fatalities,” said Pinto.  “The light will hopefully slow people down.”

In 2016, the Jamul Indian Village signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the County of San Diego ahead of the opening of the Hollywood Casino. As part of the agreement, the Jamul Indian Village agreed to invest $3.7 million in road safety improvement in the area, including access improvements directly adjacent to the casino, as well as off-site access improvements at several SD-94 intersections, including the intersection at Lyons Valley.

Work on the project started, as the tribe is ready to reopen the Hollywood Casino as the Jamul Casino after Penn National pulled out of managing the casino in February.

“We’ve seen near misses. We’ve seen a couple of really bad accidents out here also,” said Marcia Spurgeon, a long-time resident and real estate agent in Jamul.  Her office sits right at the intersection of Highway 94 and Lyons Valley Road.

“There’s also so much traffic on this road.  Whenever there’s an event at the casino, it’s backed up for hours,” said Marcia.

Spurgeon said the new traffic light will help, but what really is needed are more lanes.

“I just don’t see that happening any time soon,” said Marcia.  “Caltrans knows the dangers on this road. They know what needs to be done, but they don’t have the money to make those improvements.”

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