By Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor 2nd District
With work beginning on the Aptos Village project, including the recent movement of the historic apple barn to its location in the heart of the Village, I wanted to provide an update on some of the road improvements that will be occurring in the area. After a competitive bid process the Board of Supervisors recently approved the lowest bid for road improvements for the Aptos Village area. Here is an overview of the work that will be done, an estimated timeline and ways to learn more information.
What road and pedestrian improvements are planned?
Soquel/Trout Gulch Intersection: Will be signalized and a new left turn lane will be installed for westbound Soquel to access the Bay Federal Credit Union complex. New streetlights will be installed as will new ADA crosswalks (controlled by the traffic signal). The crosswalks will include one across Soquel on the east side of Trout Gulch and one across Trout Gulch on the south side of Aptos Street. These crosswalks should greatly improve the pedestrian safety along that intersection.
Soquel Drive from Trout Gulch East: will be improved with a new sidewalk and ADA compliant bus turnout. A new retaining wall will be built for the bus turnout and the south side of Soquel will be improved from the driveway access of Bay Federal to the walkway west of the driveway with a new ADA compliant sidewalk.
Trout Gulch from Soquel to Valencia Street: will be improved with a new sidewalk on the east side and segments of new sidewalk and ADA access including handrails on the west side. The road will be resurfaced and striped for bike lanes.
Trout Gulch Rail Crossing: will be removed and replaced with concrete panels for road and pedestrian crossing and will have new crossing arms and warning systems (flashing lights) installed. A new drainage system under the crossing will be installed to connect to an existing system on Soquel to improve storm drainage in that area.
How are these improvements funded?
The road, bike and pedestrian improvements in the Village are funded through developer fees, Regional Surface Transportation Program (state) funds, Surface Transportation Block Grant (federal) funds, Transportation Development Act (state) funds and Highway Safety and Lighting funds.
What is the preliminary work schedule?
Current plans for the phase one road improvements outlined above are to begin in February or March (weather permitting) and to end in July or August.
How can the community learn more?
As we get closer to construction, the County Public Works Department will be creating a dedicated website for Village road improvements available on their page dpw.santacruzcounty.us. In addition, the developer has a page that will include general updates (and where you can sign up for a newsletter with information) at www.theaptosvillage.com. Message signs with updated information will be placed at both entrances to the Village for motorists as well and County Public Works will have a specific point of contact for the community for all questions related to the road work. The County will also provide press releases to local media before work begins with the dates and hours of work and contact information for the community. Once the website is completed the approved construction plans for the road improvements will also be available for viewing.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to contact me at 454-2200.