freedom boulevard work
A busy section of Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville. — Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian file

WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville City Council approved a trio of contracts for significant impending roadway and planning work on Nov. 15.

The largest contract of the four is a $4.2 million agreement with Gilroy-based McKim Corporation for the long-awaited reconstruction of Freedom Boulevard between Alta Vista Avenue and Green Valley Road. That project will reconstruct more than 3,200 linear feet of roadway, as well as replace curb ramps and provide a new traffic signal at Sydney Avenue. It is expected to begin in early 2023, after the current underground sewer and water improvements are completed in the coming weeks.

McKim’s bid was the lowest of four bids, which also included Teichert ($4.3M), Graniterock ($4.69M) and Granite Construction ($5M). 

The council also approved a $1.8 million contract with Los Angeles-based Sargent Town Planning for the upcoming general plan update. An update to the current 2005 General Plan and draft 2030 General Plan is needed to help guide future land use decisions that will impact all aspects of the city, including housing production and its economy.

At the same time as that effort, Kimley-Horn and Associates will develop Watsonville’s Housing Element update. The council approved a contract that will not exceed $180,000 for that national consulting firm to complete the plan, which is a state-mandated document that lays out how the city will accommodate the 2,053 housing units it was handed for the upcoming eight-year regional housing needs allocation cycle.

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Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor of The Pajaronian for five years and three years as Managing Editor. He is a Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus.


  1. Along with the new road, traffic light and better walk/ride pathways, there also needs to be consideration put into the storefronts and businesses along the path. Freedom Blvd. is a main roadway – the old K-Mart should be a Whole Foods / Amazon center. etc. Also, I would prefer our local tax dollars being spent on hiring local people to fill the positions that are currently filled by 4-Leaf contractors, including our Building Official. This hampers progress and wastes money as the price (annual salary) for a single contractor is far greater than what the position pays through the City / County. Our dollars are better spent filling the positions with actual employees, not contractors, who have a genuine interest in the area they serve because they live her. We should want them to work here too and make sure the local culture, influence and desires are implemented, not some contractor’s vision.

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