Scenic Route 68 Corridor Improvements Project


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Project Description

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is proposing to improve traffic operations and reduce collisions with wildlife on an approximately nine-mile stretch of State Route 68 in Monterey County by modifying the design of nine intersections from Josselyn Canyon Road to San Benancio Road and by providing five new underground culverts for wildlife to use to cross under the highway. The proposed work would extend from highway post mile 4.8 to post mile 13.7 (west to east). Two build alternatives are being evaluated in the Project Approval and Environmental Document phase. Alternative 1 would convert nine intersections into roundabouts; eight would be converted into single-lane roundabouts, and one would be converted into a two-lane roundabout. Alternative 2 would include expanded signalized intersections with adaptive signal control technology and enhanced lane channelization to provide auxiliary through lanes and additional right and left turn lanes. Both alternatives would provide improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities and replacement lighting where necessary. Both alternatives would replace drainage facilities and utilities that would necessitate relocation due to the intersection modifications. Temporary construction easements would be required for access to nearby properties for construction activities where necessary.


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Project Benefits


The purpose of the project is to improve intersection operations to reduce vehicle delays throughout the project corridor and reduce the rate and severity of collisions in the project area. The project also proposes to enhance wildlife connectivity, reduce the rate of collisions between vehicles and wildlife, and improve bicycle and pedestrian access within the project section of State Route 68.


The State Route 68 corridor experiences heavy congestion, causing travel delays, which mostly occur at signalized intersections. Daily travel delays are predicted to nearly triple by the year 2045 with the existing intersection traffic controls and lane configurations. Traffic delays at intersections are caused, in part, by the inefficiency of the existing intersection signal controls, which have limited green time for each direction of travel, and a lack of coordinated signal timing among the intersections. Lines of backed-up vehicles (queuing) occur during peak traffic periods during the morning and late afternoon-early evening when vehicles cannot move through the intersections during the first green light phase of the signals. Queuing results in delays along the project corridor through stop-and-go traffic conditions at multiple intersections and often blocks access to driveways and side streets that intersect State Route 68. The project corridor has several segments with collision rates above the statewide average for similar facilities. Rear-end collisions are the most common collision types occurring within the project area and are typically associated with congestion or stop-and-go traffic conditions during peak periods. State Route 68 intersects a critical wildlife habitat area connecting the coast of Monterey to the Sierra Azul range. As such, the vehicle traffic on State Route 68 routinely comes in conflict with wildlife trying to cross the highway, resulting in roadkill, property damage, and vehicle safety issues. In addition, State Route 68 needs pedestrian and bicycle refuge areas, sidewalks, and marked bicycle lanes to reduce delays for bicyclists and vehicles at intersections.


Estimated Funding Breakdown

Funding Source Funding Amount
Local $50,000,000
State $3,966,644 (more to be determined)
Federal $29,069,356 (more to be determined)
Alternative 1 $153,000,000
Alternative 2 $176,000,000


Transportation Agency for Monterey County

Proposed Project Schedule

 Process Date
Final Environmental document to be completed October 2024
Right of way acquisition to be completed May 2027
Design to be completed June 2027
Advertise June 2027
Construction to begin February 2028
Construction to be completed November 2030 (subject to construction phasing and funding availability)

Project Contact

District 5 Public Information Office
Phone: 805-549-3138

Email comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report-Environmental Assessment report to: The public comment period is open until January 8, 2024. 


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Title VI Information

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) assures that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and Federal Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations).

Caltrans will make every effort to ensure nondiscrimination in all of its programs and activities, whether they are federally funded or not, and that services and benefits are fairly distributed to all people, regardless of race, color, or national origin. In addition, Caltrans will facilitate meaningful participation in the transportation planning process in a nondiscriminatory manner.

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