Supervisor Bruce McPherson is requesting $2 million from County reserve funds next week to repair three of the most urgent storm damaged roads. “This is why we have reserves,” McPherson said. “These roads are critical for our communities.”
Bear Creek Road lost a travel lane in this week’s storm and Soquel-San Jose Road lost a travel lane several weeks ago in a previous storm event. Both roads serve as alternative routes to Highway 17 and carry traffic volumes in the 4,000 to 8,000 vehicles on an average day. Both roads see significantly higher volumes when they are used as emergency routes when Highway 17 is closed for any reason. Additionally, Cabrillo College Drive also received significant damage to one lane of travel due a failed drainage system. Cabrillo College has traffic volumes of around 4,000 vehicles a day.
With an estimate of up to $6 million or more in damages to County public roads, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday declared a state of emergency and asked the Governor, as well as the California Office of Emergency Services, FEMA and Caltrans, to follow up in support of the emergency declaration. Those declarations would allow state and federal aid to assist the County is restoring much of the storm damaged roadways.
Supervisor McPherson said that we cannot wait for the state and federal declarations and that we need to get a heads start on repairing the County road system. Because Bear Creek Road and Soquel-San Jose Road are considered federal aid routes, the funding for repairs could be partially funded by the federal government, with the local match supplied by the County. The County would do the work to fix the slip-out, with the Federal Highway Administration paying up to 75 percent of the repair work, and the County would pay for 25 percent.
The section of Bear Creek Road that washed down the hill, about .2 miles from Boulder Creek, will cost an estimated $1.5 million to fix. Soquel-San Jose Road will cost about $350,000 and Cabrillo College Drive will cost an estimated $200,000, based on current estimates from the County Public Works Department.
McPherson said that even using emergency reserve funds, due to the geotechnical work, meeting design requirements, bidding, and construction timelines, it will take probably until the end of summer or longer to fully restore both roads. McPherson’s request is expected to be considered by the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 24.
What you can do:
1. Attend the Board of Supervisors meeting .
2. Send an email supporting this effort to bruce.mcpherson@
3. Send a letter supporting this effort to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Now is the time to act to get this road stabilized and repaired.