City of Watsonville Awarded $668,000 to Construct Rail Trail Segment

rail trail walker streetThe City of Watsonville was recently awarded $668,000 to construct a segment of the Rail Trail and promote health and safety among its residents.  The City obtained the grant in partnership with the Health Services Agency of Santa Cruz County.  The funding is from the State of California Active Transportation Program.

This project is a unique opportunity for Watsonville to address health and safety needs by constructing a segment of the highly acclaimed and popular Rail Trail, connecting downtown Watsonville to the regional trail.  The project will also include programs and activities that promote bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Support has come from many sources, and the City appreciates all of them.  Donations include $75,000 from the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and $11,000 collected by the Santa Cruz County Friends of the Rail and Trail.  The City and the Health Services Agency are also contributing toward the project.

The 2,400 foot long trail is located adjacent to the railroad tracks between the Watsonville Slough Trail and the intersection of Walker Street and West Beach Street.  Construction is expected to take place in 2018.  When coupled with the Rail Trail segment between Lee Road and the Watsonville Slough Trail that is to be built in 2017, it will complete 1.2 miles of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportations Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail.   It will also continue expansion of the City’s Trails and Bicycle Master Plan which identifies over 30 miles of trails, connector paths and bikeways.

The new trail will create an off-road pedestrian and bicycle trail that links 850 homes along Ohlone Parkway with the City’s 7 mile slough trail system and the downtown area. The programs and activities will include bicycle and pedestrian safety training and employee wellness presentations that emphasize walking and biking.  Funding will also support events such as  Open Streets and Bike to Work Days.

If you have questions or for additional information, you can contact Murray Fontes, Principal Engineer at 768-3117.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 at 4:38 pm and is filed under City Manager, City of Watsonville, Homepage News, Public Works . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.