North Coast Rail Trail Project Now Fully Funded with Recent Federal Lands Access Program Grant Award for Phases II and III

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) received a second Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant for construction of the North Coast Rail Trail for a total of $37.7 million in federal competitive grant funding for the project. On May 4, 2023, the RTC considered a funding package that fully funds the project based on current cost estimates including $13.8 million in non-federal funds made up primarily of local Measure D, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and California Coastal Conservancy funding commitments, and approved entering into federal funding agreements.

The North Coast Rail Trail, also known as Segment 5 of the Coastal Rail Trail, is being developed by the RTC in coordination with Federal Highway Administration Central Federal Lands (CFL) who will lead construction. The project is a 7.5-mile multimodal bicycle and pedestrian trail that will extend along the rail corridor from Wilder Ranch State Park in the south to Davenport in the north. In 2015, the RTC received its first FLAP grant award to develop and construct a 5.4-mile portion from Wilder Ranch to Yellowbank/Panther Beach (Phase I).

The recent FLAP grant award provides funding to construct the 2.1 miles of the trail from Yellowbank/Panther Beach to Davenport and construction of new parking lots at Yellowbank/Panther Beach and Davenport (Phase II). The grant award also includes funding for construction of a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Highway 1 at the Yellowbank/Panther Beach Parking lot to Cotoni Coast Dairies National Monument (Phase III).

Final design and permitting for Phases I and II are scheduled to be complete in 2023 and construction funding is programmed for 2024. Phase III is scheduled to complete environmental review in 2024, design in 2025, and begin construction in 2027.

For more information on the North Coast Rail Trail, visit the project webpage.