Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Santa Cruz County Receives $30 Million in Federal Grant Funding for Multimodal Projects - SCCRTC

Santa Cruz County Receives $30 Million in Federal Grant Funding for Multimodal Projects

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) in partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) was awarded $30 million in Mega Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the RTC’s Watsonville-Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program: Highway 1 Bus on Shoulders and Auxiliary Lanes from Freedom Boulevard to State Park Drive and Segment 12 of the Coastal Rail Trail Project.

The grant award will partially fund the design, right-of-way, and construction components ($25.2 million) of auxiliary lane and bus-on-shoulder facilities on Highway 1 from Freedom Boulevard to State Park Drive and a critical 1.25-mile segment of the 32-mile Coastal Rail Trail with much-needed pedestrian and bicycle overcrossings over the highway and parallel arterial Soquel Drive. It will also fund four new zero emission buses for METRO ($4.8 million).

“This grant award is proof that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is working for Santa Cruz County by providing necessary funding for our project,” said RTC Executive Director Guy Preston. “Obtaining federal funding provides affirmation that our Corridor is of national significance, which is expected to facilitate securing future State and Federal grants. This multimodal project aligns with our shared goals of climate action, healthy communities, safety, and equity.”

The Watsonville-Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program is composed of innovative projects on the three main north to south routes through Santa Cruz County – Highway 1, Soquel Avenue/Soquel Drive/Freedom Boulevard, and the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line – that will address vital transportation needs of the community.

The grant award is for the final phase of a three-phase auxiliary lane and bus-on-shoulder operational improvement program along 7.5 miles of Highway 1, and includes Segment 12 of the Coastal Rail Trail. The project will improve transit travel time, reliability, and safety, reduce congestion, and create new multimodal transportation options that will improve the quality of life for Santa Cruz County residents and visitors.

“We are very pleased to have received this award which will help us achieve our goal of providing an efficient multimodal transportation system in Santa Cruz County. This project will prove to be a major benefit to pedestrians, bus riders, and bicyclists,” said acting Caltrans District 5 Director Sara von Schwind.

The National Infrastructure Project Assistance program, known as the Mega grant program, supports large, complex projects that are likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits. The Watsonville-Santa Cruz Multimodal Corridor Program is one of only nine projects nationwide and the only project in California awarded Mega funding.

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