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.

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:

  • SR 68/Josselyn Canyon Road (post mile 5.2)
  • SR 68/Olmsted Road (post mile 5.6)
  • SR 68/SR218 Canyon del Rey Boulevard (post mile 6.8)
  • SR68/Ragsdale Drive (post mile 7.0)
  • SR 68/York Road (post mile 8.2)
  • SR 68/Pasadera Drive (post mile 9.8)
  • SR 68/Laureles Grade (post mile 11.2)
  • SR 68/Corral de Tierra Road (post mile 12.9)
  • SR 68/San Benancio Road (post mile 13.3)

Each of the two build alternatives also includes wildlife crossing improvements to existing culverts at eight locations and installation of directional fencing to deter wildlife from entering SR 68.  A No Build alternative will also be evaluated.

A Public Scoping Meeting was held on October 3, 2019 and public comments were accepted until November 8, 2019.  Caltrans and TAMC 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. 

 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

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.

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, 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