A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today to commemorate completion of the Highway 1 Soquel/Morrissey Auxiliary Lanes Project. The event was hosted by the construction managers, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, on the La Fonda Bridge overcrossing in Santa Cruz.
The themes for the event were partnerships, advancing multi-modal transportation choices and strengthening our mutual goal to serve the public. Third graders from DeLaveaga Elementary School walked to the event and warmed up the crowd with joyful song. Speakers included RTC executive Director George Dondero, RTC Commissioner and Mayor of Santa Cruz Lynn Robinson, Caltrans District Director Tim Gubbins, Harbor High School parent Liz Pollack and RTC Vice Chair and County Supervisor John Leopold. Attendees also included representatives from district offices of Congressman Farr and State Senator Monning. Project partners were awarded a piece of the old La Fonda Bridge with a plaque recognizing completion of the project. A video of the event produced by Community Television was posted on youtube: http://youtu.be/JyXQomhR8Co.
The RTC assumed the role of construction manager to communicate and minimize construction impacts while implementing locally effective solutions for neighbors, schools, commuters, and the community at large.
The Highway 1 Soquel/Morrissey Auxiliary Lanes project improves the flow of traffic by extending the weaving and merging area through one of the most congested sections of Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County. This section of Highway 1 experiences average daily traffic approaching 100,000 vehicles per day.
This project includes one mile of new auxiliary lanes – lanes that connect an on-ramp with the next off-ramp – in each direction between Soquel Drive/Avenue and Morrissey Boulevard. Also included in the project are the following: a new bridge over La Fonda Avenue with improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities; new pedestrian facilities near DeLaveaga Elementary; other pedestrian and bicycle improvements near the two schools; and a repaved and widened bicycle/pedestrian connection between Park Way and La Fonda Avenue. The path and sidewalks used an innovative partial cement replacement product that reduces green house gases from industrial carbon dioxide emissions, which would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere, by permanently storing them in a solid form in the concrete.
Project partners include Caltrans, City of Santa Cruz, City of Watsonville, Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District, Santa Cruz City School District, Harbor High School, DeLaveaga Elementary, CHP, Ecology Action, CarpoolToSchool, Michael’s Transportation, Community Foundation, design consultants NV5 (formerly Nolte), construction consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff, and construction contractor RGW.
Funding sources for the construction phase of the project included $13.8 million in voter-approved Proposition 1B – State Transportation Bond funds (Corridor Mobility Improvement Account or CMIA) secured by the Regional Transportation Commission via a competitive process and $2.5 million in State Transportation Improvement Program funds.
The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is responsible for delivering a full range of convenient, reliable, and efficient transportation choices for the community. While promoting long-term sustainability, the RTC provides transportation services, planning, and funding for all travel modes. Information about the Regional Transportation Commission’s projects and programs can be found at www.sccrtc.org or by calling 831-460-3200.