May 2016

North Coast Rail Trail Project Open House Planned

The Coastal Rail Trail project continues to reach new milestones towards construction of 8 new miles of trails by 2018. Following Open Houses for trail projects in the City of Santa Cruz and Watsonville, another event is scheduled for the public to review preliminary design concepts for the 5-mile north coast trail project. The Open House will be held on Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 from 6 to 7:30pm at the Vet’s Hall in downtown Santa Cruz (846 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060).

The project will be a 16 to 26-foot wide bicycle and pedestrian paved and unpaved path stretching from Wilder Ranch to Yellowbank Beach. Construction is expected to begin in 2018 and take approximately one year.

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is hosting the Open House in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-CFLHD). FHWA-CFLHD is the lead agency for design and construction of this segment of the county-wide Coastal Rail Trail project and is working in partnership with the RTC. The RTC is the owner of the railroad right-of-way and is the agency responsible for overall implementation of the rail trail along the 32-mile rail corridor from Watsonville to Davenport.

Funding for design, environmental studies, construction, construction engineering, management, and permitting for this project comes from the Federal Lands Access Program, the California Coastal Conservancy, and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. Partners include California State Parks and the County of Santa Cruz.

The Coastal Rail Trail serves as the spine for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) Network – a planned 50-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail system that will eventually connect to Monterey County’s system of trails. The 32-mile rail trail will connect Davenport to Watsonville and passes within one mile of half of the county’s population. The trail will serve bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and other non-motorized, active transportation needs. The trail network will provide connectivity to activity centers, coastal access points and other key destinations. The RTC finalized and adopted an award winning Trail Network Master Plan and an Environmental Impact Report that is the guiding project implementation.

For more information

For more information about the Trail Network project or to sign up for e-news, please visit the RTC website or email