Scenic Route 68 Corridor Improvements Project

Overview

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in partnership with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is proposing to improve intersection operations along SR 68 between Josselyn Canyon Road and San Benancio Road (post miles 4.8 -13.7) and enhance wildlife connectivity in order to reduce travel delays, vehicle collisions, and collisions between wildlife and vehicles.  Caltrans will be the lead agency and will prepare an environmental impact report for the project.

Notice Of Public Scoping Meeting

Caltrans in its role as Lead Agency is planning to hold a public EIR Scoping Meeting on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

The purpose of the scoping process, as an extension to the Notice of Preparation, is to identify public and agency concerns, focus on the environmental documents that need to be prepared, and define issues that will be examined in the environmental impact report.  No decision(s) will be made on the project itself during scoping meeting.

The Scoping Meeting will be held at the following time and location:

Thursday October 3, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Monterey-Salinas Transit Meeting Room

19 Upper Ragsdale, Suite 200

Monterey, California 93940

Public & Agency Comments

Public and Agency input regarding the scope of the EIR, environmental factors potentially affected, and project alternatives must be submitted to Caltrans no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, November 8, 2019.

 

Written comments can be mailed to:

California Department of Transportation, District 5

50 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Attention: Jason Wilkinson

Or emailed to: Jason.wilkinson@dot.ca.gov

Estimated Project Timeline

  • Public Scoping - October-November 2019
  • Draft Environmental Document (DED) release – Fall 2021
  • DED Public Hearing – Fall 2021/Winter 2022
  • Approve Final Environmental Document – Winter 2023
  • Design and Permitting – 2023-2025
  • Begin Construction - 2025/2026

Guiding Principles Of The Project Development Team

  • Project design is to be compatible with existing community character while addressing intersection congestion, safety, and wildlife connectivity.
  • Visual resources are to be preserved to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Adverse impacts to historical and cultural resources are to be avoided to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Acquisition of private property is to be minimized to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Opportunities for stakeholder and public input and involvement will be provided throughout the project development process.
  • Project cost-benefit is a key consideration.  Alternatives under consideration should be feasible within the anticipated funding stream for the project.

Funding

$50 million in Measure X funding (local transportation sales tax) is allocated for project construction.  Remaining funding is anticipated to come from a mix of state and federal transportation funding sources.

Background

The SR 68 Scenic Highway Plan (Plan) was completed by TAMC in August 2017.  In response to congestion, safety, and reliability issues along the SR 68 corridor, the Plan evaluated current and future travel patterns between Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula, the feasibility of affordable mid-term operational and capacity improvements in the SR 68 corridor, and the potential for wildlife connectivity enhancements.  To download a full copy of the Plan, visit TAMC’s project website

Questions

For more information contact Dave Silberberger, Project Manager by phone: (805) 549-3798 or by email: david.silberberger@dot.ca.gov