Scenic Route 68 Corridor Improvements Project

Graphic of the project logo

Project Description

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

The proposed project provides two build alternatives which would either covert intersections into roundabouts (Alternative 1) OR make modifications to the existing signalized intersection configuration (Alternative 2) at the following nine intersections:

  • State Route 68/Josselyn Canyon Road (post mile 5.2)
  • State Route 68/Olmsted Road (post mile 5.6)
  • State Route 68/SR218 Canyon del Rey Boulevard (post mile 6.8)
  • State Route 68/Ragsdale Drive (post mile 7.0)
  • State Route 68/York Road (post mile 8.2)
  • State Route 68/Pasadera Drive (post mile 9.8)
  • State Route 68/Laureles Grade (post mile 11.2)
  • State Route 68/Corral de Tierra Road (post mile 12.9)
  • State Route 68/San Benancio Road (post mile 13.3)

Each of the two proposed build alternatives also include wildlife crossing improvements to existing culverts at five locations to deter wildlife from entering SR 68.  A No-Build alternative will also be evaluated.

Graphic of the project location map

Please click on the link below to view the project location map with an aerial background:

 Estimated Project Timeline

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

A Public Scoping Meeting was held on October 3, 2019 and public comments were accepted until November 8, 2019.  Caltrans and the Transportation Agency for Monterey County have reviewed all submitted comments and continue to develop each of the two project alternatives while taking comments into consideration.  Technical studies for environmental review are underway.

Project Considerations

  • 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.

Traffic Operations Analysis

  • A Traffic Operations Analysis Report was completed by Caltrans in September 2020.
  • The Traffic Operations Analysis Report analyzed project alternatives and the No-Build alternative for traffic operations at each intersection and the corridor in 2025, 2035, and 2045 for AM And PM peak hours.
  • The following figures from the Traffic Operations Analysis Report show a comparison of corridor delays for each alternative and the no-build alternative.

Graphic of AM/PM peak hour traffic delays. (No significant difference between AM/PM). For the No-Build Alternative, the following results are expected: 2025 increase of delay time by 28%, 2035 increase of delay time by 81%, 2045 increase of delay time by 120%. For Alternative 1, the following results are expected: 2025 decrease of delay time by 68%, 2035 decrease of delay time by 62%, 2045 decrease of delay time by 51%. For Alternative 2, the following results are expected: 2025 decrease of delay time by 38%, 2035 decrease of delay time by 31%, 2045 decrease of delay time by 38%.

Visual Simulations

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County is in the process of creating automated visual simulations of Alternative 1 (roundabouts) for each intersection.

As of January 2021, visual simulations have been prepared for two intersections.  Click on the links below to view each visual simulation in a separate window:

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 travel time 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 and Wildlife Connectivity Study, visit TAMC’s project website: https://www.tamcmonterey.org/

Contact

Carla Yu, PE, Project Manager
Email: carla.yu@dot.ca.gov
Phone: (805) 549-3749

 

Jason Wilkinson, Senior Environmental Planner
E-mail: jason.wilkinson@dot.ca.gov
Phone: (805) 540-9165

 

Public Affairs Office
California Department of Transportation
50 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Email: info-d5@dot.ca.gov
Phone: (805) 549-3318