Jason Hoppin, Communications Manager County of Santa Cruz
Based on our analysis of regulatory expectations for the new culvert and conversations with the state, we planed to resubmit plans with an upgraded culvert to Caltrans/FHWA on March 30. If you recall, emergency funds will only pay to replace what you had, so any upgrades have to be vetted as well. They don’t have to reanalyze the entire plan — they just need to look at the culvert. It may not sound like it, but this is actually progress.
We have removed trees to prep the site for construction, though there is a chance we may need to go back and take a few more. The shoring and excavation plan is nearing completion and could be done by next week. That plan incorporates a temporary bridge. Also next week, we’re meeting on site with utility companies to go over the details of moving those during construction.
We’re still optimistic we can get a shovel in the ground in the next few weeks, with the temporary bridge to follow shortly after that. That’s our hope. We’re still on track to have the project completed by the end of summer.
I’m on vacation next week, so you won’t hear from me during that time. Hang in there! This will all be over soon, and thanks again for your patience.