Watsonville Awarded $930,000 for Transportation Projects


September 1, 2016 – At its meeting of September 1, 2016, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) selected projects to receive $7 million in local shares of federal transportation funds.  Following a public hearing, the RTC approved funds for 16 projects including the following two in Watsonville.  These are:

Green Valley Road Reconstruction from Struve Slough to Freedom Boulevard.  The project shall reconstruct the existing roadway and replace existing paved pathway with concrete sidewalks.  The grant amount is $795,000 and the total project cost is estimated at $1,198,000.  The City will use Gas Tax funds to pay for the unfunded portion.  Construction will take place in 2018.

Freedom Boulevard Plan Line.  The project calls for preparation of a plan line for Freedom Boulevard between Green Valley Road and Buena Vista Drive.  A plan line is a planning document that proposes pedestrian, bicycle and transit improvements and is developed through a public outreach process involving property and business owners within the project area.  The grant amount is $135,000 and the total project cost is estimated at $160,000.  The City will use Gas Tax funds to pay for the unfunded portion.  The plan line will be completed in 2017.

After considering testimony from members of the public, Commissioners committed $10,000 for an Open Streets event in Watsonville.

Additional information on the approved projects and the related staff report, are available on the Regional Transportation Commission’s website: www.sccrtc.org/funding-planning/project-funding/ and in the meeting agenda packet: http://sccrtc.org/meetings/commission/agendas/.

These grant funds come from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG), a federal program created by the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act”. Due to the volatility of gas tax revenues, delays in adoption of the federal transportation act, and the unreliability of State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds, this was the first time the RTC has programmed funds to new projects since 2013. The region’s proportional share of Federal and State revenues continues to fall severely short of what is required to address the backlog of infrastructure repairs, safety, traffic congestion, bicycle and pedestrian projects that have been identified as priorities by the community. Measure D – a countywide November ballot measure – would bring in an additional $500 million through a ½ cent sales tax for priority local transportation projects such as fixing potholes, improving traffic flow on Highway 1, expanding safe routes to school and other bicycle and pedestrian projects, and maintaining transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities. Information on Measure D is online at: www.sccrtc.org/move.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at 9:15 am 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.