Hwy 1 Soquel/Morrissey auxiliary lane project hits stride

Crews work on one of four retaining walls being erected as part of the $22.7 million Highway 1 Hwy 1 Soquel/Morrissey auxiliary lane project. A community meeting is planned next Wednesday to provide a project update and seek to minimize traffic at nearby schools.(CONTRIBUTED)

  Today's column giving an update on the Highway 1 Soquel/Morrissey auxiliary lane project comes from Karena Pushnik, senior transportation Planner with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. The agency is responsible for delivering a full range of safe, convenient, reliable and efficient transportation choices for the community. Learn more about its programs and services at www.sccrtc.org. The Regional Transportation Commission for Santa Cruz County is managing the construction project currently underway on Highway 1 between the Soquel and Morrissey interchanges. The purpose of this project is to add auxiliary lanes -- lanes that connect an on-ramp with the next off-ramp – to improve traffic flow in one of the most heavily traveled sections of Highway 1. After a slow start due to weather, the project is in full swing. Crews have finished clearing the hillsides and are in different phases of installing four retaining walls that will extend the travel lanes without requiring additional state right of way. Creek and drainage safeguard measures have been taken to protect the urban waterways. Before the La Fonda overcrossing can be dropped, four utility companies must relocate their water, gas, cable, phone and electricity lines. The overcrossing will not be passable during the construction time frame. A community meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 30 at DeLaveaga Elementary School and all are invited to attend. Doors will open at 6:30 pm, with a presentation from 7-8 p.m. Before and after the presentation, there will be open house time to view displays and talk to staff. With demolition of the La Fonda overcrossing this summer and reconstruction over the next six to eight months, the meeting is a great opportunity to hear more about the project and get questions answered. Displays at the meeting will address the process to be used for demolition and construction, traffic control and safety measures, and the project schedule. In addition, staff will be on hand to discuss options to minimize traffic at DeLaveaga Elementary and Harbor High schools. The RTC is sending regular e-news bulletins about the project and lane closures, as well as posting information on the RTC Facebook page. To receive e-news, send your email address to info@sccrtc.org or like us on Facebook or visit the project page on the RTC website at: http://sccrtc.org/projects/streets-highways/highway-1-aux-lanes/. We’d like to remind drivers to allow extra time and use caution, especially in the school zones. Also, please be aware that traffic fines are doubled in construction zones. IF YOU GO WHAT: Highway 1 Soquel/Morrissey Auxiliary Lane Project Community Meeting WHEN: 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 30 WHERE: DeLaveaga Elementary, 1145 Morrissey Boulevard, Santa Cruz INFORMATION: www.sccrtc.org
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