A safe path for students

A worker from Granite Construction is busy with a new project that includes new sidewalks on East Lake Avenue between Holohan Road and Wagner Avenue in Watsonville. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

New sidewalk on East Lake Avenue coming

WATSONVILLE — A construction project to install pedestrian facilities and widen the existing shoulders is underway on a three-quarter-mile section of Highway 152 (East Lake Avenue) between Wagner Avenue and Holohan Road, Caltrans officials have announced.

New sidewalks are in the works for both sides of East Lake Avenue, which will help bolster pedestrian safely, especially for students coming and going from four local schools.

“We were part of the planning. We met up with families that were impacted,” said Alicia Jimenez of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. “The community has expressed their concern about the lack of a sidewalks in that area so this project is wonderful news for our families. Having sidewalks provides additional safety for our students as they walk to and from school. Student safety is a district priority and we are glad this concern is being remedied.”

Students from Lakeview Middle School, Ann Soldo Elementary School, MacQuiddy Elementary School and St. Francis High School have had to make the dangerous trek to and from campus through dirt paths along East Lake Avenue, where zooming cars often breach the 45 MPH speed limit.

In the coming months, that will no longer be the case.

“This work benefits many of our families,” Jimenez said.

Details of the project:

• Roadwork currently consists of daytime shoulder closures Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• As of April 22, lane closures will be in effect with one-way traffic control from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays, in addition to the current shoulder work.

• Nighttime work will also take place Sundays through Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Fridays from midnight to 6 a.m. Saturday.

• Electronic message signs are posted to alert motorists, who can expect delays of up to 20 minutes, Caltrans said, and are advised to use an alternate route.

• Roadwork is expected to be completed in early August.

• The contractor for the $1.5 million construction project is Granite Construction of Watsonville.

Editor's Note: This article will publish in the April 19 edition of the Register-Pajaronian.

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