By Miriam Raftery
August 10,2016 (Jamul) – Signs posted by Cal Trans along State Route 94 are warning motorists to expect traffic delays August 15-22 due to ”events.”
According to a Cal Trans press release posted on the Jamul Indian Village website, Caltrans issued a permit to the Jamul Indian Village for traffic control on SR-94/Campo Road related to the installation of a new temporary traffic signal at the intersection of SR-94 and Daisy Drive.
The signal will flash all yellow beginning Wednesday to alert motorists about the change. The signal will be fully activated to “red-yellow-green” phasing the week of Aug. 15.
Work will continue on the intersection for signing and striping. Motorists are advised to look for changeable message signs and traffic flaggers to provide guidance through the area. Speed in the construction zone has been reduced to 45 MPH. The work is privately funded as part of the Jamul Indian Village Access Improvement Project on SR-94.
The Deerhorn Valley Antler reports that residents who called Cal Trans were told the events are part of a week-long grand opening for the Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego. However the Jamul Indian Village, where the new casino is located, has not yet responded to ECM’s request for confirmation on the grand opening date. A notice on the Casino’s Facebook page states that “the casino will remain closed until further notice” while the new signal light is installed.
Opponents of the casino have voiced concerns that a temporary liquor license has been issued for the casino’s upcoming opening. Over 1,000 letters to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board had requested that no liquor permit be issued, according to the Jamul Action Committee, an anti-casino citizens group.
Janet Mulder,in a letter to Jennifer Hill at theABC in San Diego, asked why Jamul was granted the alcohol permit when other tribal casinos such as Sycuan and Barona were required to wait a period of time after opening to allow for assessment of traffic impacts before a liquor license was granted.
“It is extremely important to note that the 10 mile stretch of SR 94 from Rancho San Diego to Otay Lakes Road has 5 ½ times the average number of traffic fatalities compared to the County’s average,”Mulder’s letter states. She also contends that the alcohol permit was issued before improvements to SR-94 required for mitigation of casino impacts have been completed. The announced traffic delays are set to occur just a week Steele Canyon High School begins fall session, leading some to voice concerns over teen drivers on the highway. Some commuters from as far away as Potrero have contacted ECM to voice concerns over a slowdown of already lengthy commutes.
Last week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a 25-year tribal-state Gaming Compact between the State of California and the Jamul Indian Village of California that includes measures aimed at protecting wildlife and habitat.
“JIV is very grateful to Governor Brown for making this agreement possible. The compact creates an economic environment that allows the Tribe to transition to self-sufficiency and to contribute to other Tribes, the community and local government,” said Jamul Indian Village Chairwoman Erica Pinto. “The compact also provides incentives that will allow the Tribe to continue to partner with and invest in the local community. “Through this compact, JIV reaffirms its commitment to working with the County on fire service, law enforcement and road improvements,” Chairwoman Pinto added in a press statement on the compact.
Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego is expected to employ more than 1,000 permanent workers, and include a three-story gaming and entertainment facility featuring slot machines, live table games, multiple restaurants, bars , lounges and an enclosed parking structure.
The Casino has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HollywoodCasinoJamulSD/?rf=779992822099900.