Highway 1 Auxiliary Lanes and Bus-on-Shoulder Improvements —Freedom Boulevard to State Park Drive— and Coastal Rail Trail Segment 12 Project

Project Description 

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in association with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and the County of Santa Cruz (County), proposes improvements along State Route 1 and the Santa Cruz Branch Line railroad right-of-way, within an unincorporated area of the County. Improvements under consideration include the construction of auxiliary lanes, implementation of bus‐on‐shoulder operations, widening and replacement of bridges, construction of Segment 12 of the Coastal Rail Trail, and the installation of sound walls and retaining walls.

Project Benefits


  • Reduce congestion along State Route 1 through the project limits.
  • Enhance bicycle and pedestrian connectivity by building a segment of the Coastal Rail Trail.
  • Promote the use of alternative transportation modes to increase transportation system capacity and reliability.
  • Reconstruct railroad bridges over State Route 1 to accommodate the widened highway and Coastal Rail Trail crossings.


  • Several bottlenecks along State Route 1 in the southbound and northbound directions cause congestion during peak hours, significantly delaying drivers.
  • “Cut-through” traffic, or traffic on local streets, is increasing because drivers are seeking to avoid congestion on State Route 1.
  • There are limited opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely get across State Route 1 and navigate the project corridor, even though portions of the project area are designated as regional bicycle routes.
  • There are insufficient incentives to increase transit service in the State Route 1 corridor because congestion threatens reliability and cost‐effective transit service delivery.

Estimated Funding Breakdown

Construction Cost: $79,000,000


The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and the County of Santa Cruz.

Proposed Project Schedule

  • Final environmental document to be completed: March 2022
  • Right-of-way acquisition to be completed: January 2022
  • Design to be completed: January 2023
  • Advertise: March 2023
  • Construction to begin: November 2023
  • Construction to be completed: June 2025

Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

The public scoping meeting will be held via an online open house webpage from September 17, 2020, to October 18, 2020:


Please submit Notice of Preparation comments to:

Lara Bertaina, Senior Environmental Planner

Phone: (805) 542-4610

Email: lara.bertaina@dot.ca.gov


Luis Duazo, Project Manager
Phone: (805) 542-4678
Email: luis.duazo@dot.ca.gov