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Celebrate Coastal Rail Trail Ribbon-Cutting on May 22 – Rain or Shine!

Post Date:05/16/2019 9:50 AM


May 16, 2019

Contact: Janice Bisgaard, Community Relations Specialist, (831) 420-5166


SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The City of Santa Cruz invites the community to the ribbon-cutting celebration for the first segment of the Coastal Rail Trail — the San Lorenzo River Parkway Phase III/Trestle Trail Project — on Wednesday, May 22, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. at the west base of the San Lorenzo River Railroad Trestle Bridge. The event, which also celebrates National Public Works Week, will take place come rain or shine.

The Trestle Trail Project replaces the previous 4-foot wide walkway on the San Lorenzo River Railroad Trestle Bridge with a new multi-use trail that is 10 feet wide. The Coastal Rail Trail includes many projects that, together, will provide a 32-mile long separated bicycle/pedestrian path along the coast and is a part of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan.

“The entire Santa Cruz community is excited by this first segment of the Coastal Rail Trail which is being completed ahead of schedule! Many residents have expressed how much safer and easier biking and walking will be for them,” said Mayor Martine Watkins. “We’re super stoked to have this complete. This is how we get to the Boardwalk, and as the summer approaches, to Junior Guards.”

The event includes City and County officials and community members who have helped to realize the Coastal Rail Trail project over many years. The scheduled speakers are Mayor Martine Watkins, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty, former Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency John Laird, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Executive Director Stephen Slade, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission Chair Ed Bottorff, and Bruce Sawhill, Friends of the Rail and Trail former chair and founding member.

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, Friends of the Rail and Trail and Ecology Action will host tables. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony there will be a parade of Ecology Action’s Bike Ambassadors in salute of the project completion and May is Bike Month.

Attendees may park free of charge at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk River Parking Lot but need to mention “ribbon-cutting” at the Beach and 3rd streets entrance gate. Free bicycle valet parking is hosted by Bike Santa Cruz County.

Coastal Rail Trail fundraising and planning started with former U.S. Congressman Sam Farr’s vision for a trail system that arcs around the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He secured $4.5 million dollars in funding for the Santa Cruz County side of the trail system alone. Former Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency John Laird secured a grant for over $.5 million for this first Trestle Trail Project. Transportation Development Act funds and Measure D tax dollars fund the remainder of the $2 million Trestle Trail Project cost.

The Trestle Trail Project is constructed with a savings of over $4 million compared to the conceptual Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Master Plan developed in 2013. The savings derives from a structural analysis which determined that a new stand-alone bike/pedestrian bridge was not necessary. Instead, the trail is cantilevered from the existing bridge which has saved significant time as well as cost.

The Trestle Trail Project, which supports the City’s Go Santa Cruz initiative and Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions, is expected to open to the public on Friday, May 17.

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