FUNDING: Santa Cruz County transportation commission to consider $6.1 billion of projects

Aug. 3, 2016

The largest expense for the coastal California region to be considered will likely be road maintenance

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission tomorrow will consider its list of projects over the next two decades, in which its biggest expense likely will be road maintenance.

The draft 2040 Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Plan has $6.1 billion worth of projects, ranging from highway updates to bike lane construction and bus system operations. If approved Thursday, the list then will be prioritized, based on what is financially feasible. The final list will be approved in June 2018.

The project list was last updated in 2014, and at that time only $2.8 billion of funding was identified—that assumes that the half-cent sales tax measure supporting transportation passes in November, according to Ginger Dykaar, transportation planner for the commission.

Maintaining Highways 1, 17, 9, 152 and 129 is estimated to cost $542 million over 22 years. Road maintenance in unincorporated county is estimated at $489 million for the same time frame.

Each of the county’s four cities listed their street maintenance costs through 2040: $163.6 million for Santa Cruz, $56.8 million for Watsonville, $17.6 million for Capitola and $14.7 million for Scotts Valley.

The 2040 project list also includes construction of the $121 million coastal rail trail, a network of bike and pedestrian trails.

Public comment on the project list will be considered in the commission’s decisions, with already more than 225 written comments having been filed.