Crews begin replacing Bridge Street median

David Williams (left) and Mike Miller of California Conservation Corps help install a native plant landscaping on Bridge Street Wednesday. (Photo by Erik Chalhoub/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — The days are numbered for the notoriously green median on Bridge Street.

Crews from the City of Watsonville and California Conservation Corps are currently tearing out the grass on the median between Bronte and Tuttle avenues, and replacing it with drought tolerant plants, wood chips and drip irrigation.

Michael Johnson, who manages the city’s Landscape Water Conservation Program, said work on the first phase of the project is expected to wrap up next week, weather permitting. The landscape on the medians across the entire Bridge Street will be done over a series of three phases, with the final phase expected to be completed in 2021.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” Johnson said. “There are so many benefits to it, but mostly I see it as a beautification project.”

Johnson said the more than 40-year-old landscaping consisted of inefficient sprinklers that would spray over the road, and on vehicles passing through, when it switched on.

He added that city officials looked to begin the project about seven years ago, holding community meetings with residents to gain input, but were met with opposition. However, with drought conditions and residents becoming more conservation-minded, attitudes have changed, he said, and most residents in the area now fully support the project.

“A lot has changed in seven years,” Johnson said.

The City of Watsonville offers incentives to residents and businesses who are looking to conserve water. For information, visit


Wood chips will replace the grass on the Bridge Street median. (Photo by Erik Chalhoub/Register-Pajaronian)

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