Highway 1 plan receives environmental approval

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — An environmental report for the Highway 1 Corridor Investment Program has recently been completed and approved, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission announced.

Known as the final Tier I/II Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Assessment (EA) for Highway 1, prepared in cooperation with Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration, the document provides California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act approval for the HOV Lane Project, as well as the first Tier II Auxiliary Lanes Project between Soquel Avenue/Drive and 41st Avenue, including the bicycle and pedestrian overcrossing at Chanticleer Avenue, among other things.

Earlier in 2018, Measure D funds were used to advance the final design phase of the Highway 1 Auxiliary Lanes project between 41st Avenue and Soquel Avenue/Drive, including the bicycle and pedestrian overcrossing at Chanticleer Avenue, saving six to eight months on the overall schedule, according to the RTC.

For environmental analysis, the Highway 1 Corridor Investment Program was divided into two components: Tier I (planning-level) and Tier II (project-level). Tier I evaluates the overall planning-level concept for the future of the Highway 1 corridor between Santa Cruz and Aptos, while Tier II evaluates specific projects in the program.

The completion of the combined EIR/EA will allow Tier II projects, such as the Mar Vista bicycle and pedestrian overcrossing and auxiliary lanes between Bay Avenue/Porter Street and State Park Drive, to move forward, according to the RTC.

The Highway 1 Corridor Investment Program is a planning and funding program focused on the section of Highway 1 between San Andreas/Larkin Valley Road and Morrissey Boulevard. The long-term concept of the Tier I project is to reduce congestion, promote the use of alternative transportation modes as a way to increase transportation system capacity, and to encourage carpooling and ridesharing.

For information, visit sccrtc.org/projects/streets-highways/hwy1corridor.


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