Highway 17

Highway 17

RTC Projects on Highway 17

Freeway Service Patrol

A free tow service roves Highway 17 between Scotts Valley and the summit during peak traffic hours looking to help anyone that is stranded on the highway. For additional information visit the Motorist Assistance web page.

Safe on 17 

The Safe on 17 Task Force was developed in 1999 and still continues today to implement strategies to improve safety on Highway 17. For more information,  visit the Safe on 17 information page and meeting page.

Caltrans Projects on Hwy 17 in Santa Cruz County

View Caltrans D5 Project Updates (as of June 2020)

Highway 17 Shoulder Widening and Concrete Guardrail
The Highway 17 project north of Scotts Valley (between Sugarloaf and Laurel Rd) to widen the shoulder and install a concrete guardrail began in 2016. Wider shoulders allow motorists to have more room to correct themselves if they veer off the road. Wider shoulders can also provide a place for vehicles to pull off the road in an emergency and increase visibility around a curve. This project was completed in February 2019.

Highway 17 Storm Water Mitigation Project
This project located between the Hwy 1/17 interchange and Sims Road to conduct multiple storm water improvements began in 2017 and major construction was completed in 2019. Erosion control and vegetation establishment continued through May 2019.

Highway 17 Pasatiempo Shoulder Widening
This project located south of Pasatiempo overcrossing to widen the shoulder and install a soil nail wall began in April 2019 and is scheduled for substantial completion by Summer 2020. Construction on the retaining wall began in late October 2019 and was in winter suspension as of May 2020.

Highway 17 Maintenance Pavement Overlay
This project located just north of the Granite Creek Road over-crossing in Scotts Valley to the Santa Cruz/Santa Clara county line to repave the roadway began in April 2019 starting with southbound lanes. Construction is underway and is scheduled to be completed in Spring of 2020.

SR-17 Shaded Fuel Break Project
This project located between Main Street bridge in Los Gatos and Summit Road overpass to reduce fire risk in vulnerable communities began in August 2019. Santa Clara County Fire Safe Council oversees the project with Cal FIRE and Caltrans. Traffic is impacted when shoulder and lane closures are necessary to perform roadside vegetation clearing and tree removal work safely. Weekly project updates are available at https://firesafe17.com.  This project was completed in May 2020.

Highway 17 Wildlife Crossing


The Highway 17 wildlife crossing is a partnership between Caltrans, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. Caltrans will be constructing a wildlife tunnel under Highway 17 near Laurel Curve to allow safe passage for wildlife. The wildlife corridor connects two core habitat areas that the Land Trust has protected from development. Measure D will provide $5 million for construction of this project. For additional information see the project fact sheet.

Caltrans presented information about the project at a Public Information meeting in Scotts Valley on May 2, 2018 and to the RTC board on May 3, 2018. View the Caltrans presentation.

Hwy 17 Access Management Plan

Caltrans District 4 and 5, in collaboration with Santa Cruz County, Santa Clara County, California Highway Patrol and the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, developed the Highway 17 Access Management Plan to address access along the entire length of Highway 17.  This long term plan is needed to compete for funding to address access issues along this corridor. View the project summary guide sent to community members.

Caltrans Projects on Hwy 17 in Santa Clara County

Caltrans is currently developing a project to provide several measures to enhance traffic safety on a 3:3-mile segment of SR 17 from Santa Cruz County line
to Alma College Road in Los Gatos. The project will provide the following improvements:

  • Pavement restoration in both directions including high friction surface treatment to improve traction on wet pavement.
  • Dynamic Speed Feedback signs to increase motorists’ awareness of speed limits and their approach speeds
  • Curve Ahead warning signs with flashing beacons in both directions to increase motorists’ awareness of the highway alignment.
  • An electronic variable message sign in the northbound direction just before the Summit Road overcrossing. This sign will be used to alert northbound traffic of traffic conditions ahead when needed.
  • Enhanced striping and right edgeline rumble strip in both directions for the first 2.8 miles, including the subject curve.
  • Safety lighting, overhead warning signs with flashing beacons, guardrail system, and channelizing devices, at various locations within the project limits.

This safety improvement project has been expedited to begin construction in January 2021 and anticipated to be completed by October 2021. It is expected that the project will significantly
enhance traffic safety on this segment of SR 17.

RTC Contact

Amy Naranjo
Transportation Planner
(831) 460-3200