December 21, 2017
By: Kelci Parks
The Mendocino Council of Governments recently approved its five-year plan for the county’s regional transportation improvements, with an estimated $1,485,000 expected to be spent on Fort Bragg’s Main Street.
The funds are being generated by the recent enactment of Senate Bill 1, which increases transportation taxes to fund a backlog of deferred maintenance throughout the state. The State’s fund estimate included $3 million of new transportation projects in Mendocino County, with statewide revenue projected at $5.4 billion per year.
According to City Manager Linda Ruffing, the nearly $1.5 million will be used for the design and construction of the South Main Street Pedestrian Improvement Project.
“If the funding is approved by the California Transportation Commission, the first phase of the project will install new sidewalks on the west side of Main Street from Cypress to Ocean View Drive and will enhance the pedestrian crossings at all streets and major driveways in the project area,” she said.
Enhancements will also include ADA compliant pedestrian upgrades and designated bike lanes.
Other projects on the regional program list include the design phase of the Gualala Downtown Streetscape project ($575,000) and the Willits Bypass Main Street Relinquishment project ($98,000).
Three cities in Mendocino County (Fort Bragg, Point Arena and Willits) will also receive $100,000 each per year if they enact voter-approved sales taxes dedicated to transportation.
“MCOG staff worked hard on guidelines committees to ensure that rural agencies that taxed themselves were rewarded,” an MCOG press release stated.
“The $100,000 annual allocation of SB1 funds will augment our special sales tax for street repairs and allow for continued repair and maintenance of streets and alleys throughout the city,” said Ruffing.
An environmental review for the South Main Street Pedestrian Improvement Project is expected to be done in 2019/20 and construction would begin in 2021, according to city staff.
MCOG formed as a joint powers agreement in 1972 to disburse state and federal funds for transportation, provide regional planning and serve as a regional forum.
MCOG is overseen by a board consisting of two county supervisors, a countywide public appointee and one council member from each of the four incorporated cities.