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Demolition Begins On Notoriously Bad San Jose Interchange

SAN JOSE (KCBS) - Relief is in sight for a bottleneck that plagues drivers on Highway 101 through San Jose. Caltrans has started work on a $45 million project to relieve gridlock at the off-ramp.

The configuration of the off-ramp at Tully Rd., which was built in the 1950s, contributes to frustratingly lengthy backups on Highway 101.

KCBS' Mike Colgan Reports:

"I've seen several accidents because people just brake out of nowhere. I feel like it's really good that they're fixing it," enthused one motorist. "Definitely."

"I try to stay away from it," a second commuter said.

"It's just continuous traffic trying to get on the freeway, trying to get off, there's always congestion right off the freeway and continuing down to Tully, north or south," summed up another woman.

Retailers, on the other hand, expressed concern that the 16-month project would dampen business.

"It's very difficult to get through the construction so people are going to stay away from the area and you're not going to get the store traffic that you need to stay afloat," worried a man who identified himself only as Brandon, manager of a discount mattress store.

He said he's already seen a decrease in business.

"Yeah, the store traffic is down 75 percent. You're seeing less than a quarter of the people you normally would."

Caltrans maintains that the project will ultimately makes things better for drivers in the area.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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