December 14, 2017
By: Sean P. Thomas
Three major roadway improvement planning projects are coming to Calaveras County by way of the first round of gas tax funds, according to the California Department of Transportation.
Valley Springs, Angels Camp and San Andreas will receive a share of $25 million in sustainable community grants to help support local efforts to plan “sustainable communities, reduce transportation-related greenhouse gases and adapt for the effects of climate change,” according to a release from Caltrans.
“These grants will provide much-needed funding to support the efforts to improve transportation in local communities and plan for a future impacted by climate change,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “In addition to the many projects already accelerated thanks to SB1, this is just one more example of how we’re committed to rebuilding California.”
In Valley Springs, $219,112 will go toward conceptual planning for street improvements along Highway 26 and at the Highway 12 and 26 intersection. The goal is to conceive a plan to help improve travel options for residents and students attempting to reach schools and community centers.
The plan will explore improvements along Highway 26 from Hogan Dam Road to the Highway 12 and 26 intersection, including gap-filling efforts as well as improvements within the historic portion of Valley Spring. Historical Valley Springs has streets that currently serve as pickup and drop off locations for students.
The planning is slated to begin in February and end in November 2019, once an assessment of existing conditions, comprehensive public participation and outreach, conception design alternatives, development of a complete street plan and implementation of a financial plan to fund the construction are completed.
The projects are a collaborative partnership between Valley Springs Elementary School, Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the Calaveras Council of Governments – a regional transportation planning authority – Calaveras County and various community members.
In San Andreas, $158,750 will be used to plan the development of a bicycle and pedestrian path along Pope Street and Lewis Avenue. The total project cost is $186,750. Like the Valley Springs project, the San Andreas grant will be used, in part, to create conceptual designs and provide necessary technical data to initiate future phases of the project and identify funding avenues. If properly funded, the project is anticipated to begin in February and finish in February 2020.
Angels Camp will receive $171,748 in grant funds to go toward a $201,250 project to survey improvements needed along Highway 49 to the Highways 49 and 4 intersection. The project will identify improvements in multimodal transportation between existing and planned facilities.
Likewise, the study will identify ways to improve transportation to low-income communities in northern Angels Camp.
The project description mentions that the planning study must comply with the current Highway 49/4 Gateway Corridor Study. The project is anticipated to start in February and be completed by February 2020.
Among the total grants, $25 million in sustainable community grants were allocated to 43 local and regional multimodal transportation and land-use planning projects. The goal is help the state reach its planned greenhouse gas reductions of 40 percent to 80 percent below levels recorded in 1990 by 2030 and 2050, respectively.