CASTROVILLE — Transportation officials are seeking public input on a proposed interchange for the intersection of Highway 156 and Castroville Boulevard, described as one of the busiest corridors in Monterey County.

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are looking for the public to weigh in on the Measure X and SB 1 funded “State Route 156/Castroville Boulevard Interchange” project at a meeting, hosted by Supervisor John Phillips, at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Castroville Community Library, 11160 Speegle St.

Members of the community will have the opportunity to meet with the project team to discuss and review the schedule and designs for the new State Route 156/Castroville Boulevard Interchange. The goal of the project is to improve safe travel, local circulation, and reduce congestion by replacing the existing signalized intersection with a new interchange.  

This new interchange is the first of three segments of the full Highway 156 West Corridor project that aim to enhance the corridor between Castroville and Prunedale.

According to TAMC, construction on the project could begin within two years, following the completion of final design work.

The $43 million interchange project is funded with $30 million from Measure X, the 3/8 of a percent sales tax approved by Monterey County voters in 2016. The $13 million balance of funding is anticipated funded from the new revenues generated by the SB 1 gas tax, in this case, the Trade Corridor program or the State Transportation Improvement Program.

“We have been aggressive in our efforts to leverage Measure X funds with additional funding sources to get projects done as quickly as possible,” said Debbie Hale, executive director of TAMC. “If the revenues from the gas tax goes away, then our projects will be significantly impacted, and we will have to start evaluating what projects will have to be delayed, down-scoped or even deleted.”

TAMC staff will also present the designs for the new interchange to the Transportation Agency for Monterey County Board of Directors at a meeting Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. at the Agricultural Center Conference Room, 1428 Abbott St. in Salinas.

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