By Zach Friend, County Supervisor 2nd District
Even though it’s been about six months since the last of the major winter storms, the County is working through the long-term impacts of the damage. Ultimately, 320 sites were damaged (including roads, parks, sanitation issues and the levee) causing over $129 million in damage.
Public Works has taken the lead on the repairs (including applying for state and federal funding) and it’s currently estimated that we will receive a little over $110 million in aid for the $129 million in damage. The rest will need to be made up through local funds, which include Measure D, the recently passed state transportation measure and
We’ve already had some successes with the installation of the Valencia Road bridge, the repair on Cabrillo College Drive and the emergency reopening of Soquel/San Jose Road among others. But we have a long way to go to fully repair all of the damage.
Public Works plans to complete at least $15 million in disaster recovery projects within a year – and many of the highest priority repairs are within our district. Additionally, some of the most complex (and expensive) repairs fall within the greater Aptos area.
For example, the lower Valencia Road repair is estimated to cost $3.8 million when it’s complete, Redwood Road (with slip outs, failures and culvert issues) is estimated to cost about $3.4 million to repair.
The two damaged sites on upper Valencia equate to over $2.5 million in cost, damage on San Andreas Road is estimated at over $1.3 million and the repair on Soquel near the trestle is over $700,000 in cost.
There are many more damaged locations in the district (including Browns Valley, Hazel Dell and Cox Road for example) that add over $3 million in repair costs.
The good news is that much of the backend work (including state and federal site visits and disaster applications on each site) has been completed. Our state and federal partners are working to provide full scopes of work on these sites with Public Works.
Many sites, including the damage at Soquel by the trestle are in the process of right-of-way, design, permitting, utilities and contracting details right now and are anticipated to be completed late this year. Others, such as upper Valencia, are anticipated to begin in the spring.
We know that rebuilding these roads, and damaged facilities, will be a slow process. I fully recognize the difficulties that the damage has caused for many not just in our district, but throughout the County.
We anticipate a number of repairs being completed in the next year but some will take multiple years to be fully recovered. My office will continue to work with Public Works and our state and federal partners to expedite what we can in our district.
As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts. Feel free to call me at 454-2200.