Highway 1 State Park Dr to Freedom Blvd Aux Lanes

Highway 1 State Park Dr to Freedom Blvd Aux Lanes, Bus-on-Shoulder & Coastal Rail Trail Segment 12 Project

The project will construct northbound and southbound auxiliary lanes between the State Park Drive and Freedom Boulevard interchanges, replace the two existing railroad bridges between the State Park Drive and Rio del Mar interchanges, and widen the Aptos Creek bridge.

Online Open House Now Open!

Public input is being sought as Caltrans formally initiates studies for the preparation of the draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA) for this project.

Along with a project overview, the online open house presents factors to be considered in the draft EIR/EA for this segment of Highway 1 and the Coastal Rail Trail segment.

Community members can visit the online open house and provide comments there until Oct. 18, 2020. Visit the online open house at www.hwy1-freedom-statepark.com/.

Written comments may also be mailed to Lara Bertaina, Senior Environmental Planner, Caltrans, District 5, 50 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401; or emailed to Lara.Bertaina@dot.ca.gov.

Map of project

This section of Highway 1 provides access to Aptos Village, Rio del Mar, Aptos High School, and Aptos Hills/Corralitos. The auxiliary lanes will connect the on-ramps with the next off-ramp, thereby extending the weaving and merging distance between the ramps, improving traffic operations, and reducing cut-through traffic diverting to local streets and neighborhoods.

The existing railroad bridges will be replaced with longer span bridges to accommodate the addition of auxiliary lanes on Highway 1. The new bridges will also be able to accommodate future high-capacity public transit and trail to improve multimodal transportation across the County. The new bridges, soundwalls, and retaining walls will incorporate aesthetic treatments consistent with the visual character of the corridor and the adjacent community.

This project also includes construction of Segment 12 of the Coastal Rail Trail, a bicycle and pedestrian trail along an approximately 1.25-mile segment of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line right-of-way from State Park Drive to Rio Del Mar Boulevard. The Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line corridor is an active freight line and is owned by the RTC.

Project Highlights

  • Improves traffic and safety operations on Highway 1
  • Adds infrastructure for buses to travel in the auxiliary lanes between interchanges and on the outside shoulder through interchanges
  • Reduces cut-through traffic diverting to local streets and neighborhoods by adding auxiliary lanes between State Park Drive and Freedom Boulevard
  • Replaces two existing railroad bridges and widens the Highway 1 Aptos Creek bridge
  • Accommodates future high-capacity public transit on the new railroad bridges
  • Multimodal options to increase corridor throughput
  • Improves active transportation connectivity

Project Schedule

The environmental phase of this project is expected to begin in 2020 and be completed in 2021. The design phase is expected to begin in 2021. The project is expected to go to construction in 2024 pending availability of funding.

Project Fact Sheet

RTC Contact

Sarah Christensen
Senior Transportation Engineer
(831) 460-3200