WATSONVILLE—The tricky intersection at Airport Boulevard and Holm Road will soon be a bit safer.
That’s thanks to a $481,600 Highway Safety Improvement Program grant accepted by the City Council during its Tuesday meeting that will cover the costs of installing a traffic signal at the busy intersection on Watsonville’s outskirts.
The project has been in the works since 2018.
The City of Watsonville applied for the grant after Celestine “Cele” Glover was hit by a distracted driver while crossing the intersection. Glover, then 26, was in critical condition for several days at Stanford’s ICU following the collision.
Her mother, Mitsuno Baurmeister, in the weeks after urged the City Council to make improvements to the intersection, which is in the heart of a four-lane, 45-mph zone that leads to and from Highway 1.
The City soon after the crash added a few traffic-calming items to the intersection, including a flashing crosswalk.
Glover, who has special needs, is still living in Watsonville with supportive care, according to Baurmeister. She is still trying to return to full health, Baurmeister said, and has not been able to return to work since the collision.
“I would say she’s doing very well overall,” Baurmeister said. “She’s got a great attitude, given the circumstances.”
Baurmeister said she was not made aware of the planned improvements but was happy about the news nonetheless.
“I’m very heartened to hear that the City of Watsonville is addressing that need,” she said. “It will make me and my family very happy that intersection is safer for pedestrians.”
The project will install a four-way traffic stop.
The plans are currently under review by the State Local Assistance Engineers. It is expected to be approved sometime this month, City staff said.
Bids will be accepted starting April 23 and construction is expected to be completed later this year.
“Thank you again [for this project] because it impacts what I see on a daily basis for that particular intersection,” said Councilwoman Trina Coffman-Gomez, who oversees that area of the city.