The City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department has been awarded a 2021 Caltrans Excellence in Transportation Award for its Coastal Rail Trail Segment 7/Phase I project, known as the Westside Trail.
The project has also been recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies with a California 2022 Engineering Excellence Merit Award.
Sharing in the awards: RRM Design Group, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and Graniterock Construction.
“Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to bring this project to the finish line with such measurable improvements for our City,” said Public Works Director Mark Dettle. “It is helping to increase walking, biking and safety in Santa Cruz while reducing carbon emissions.”
The paved multi-use trail has more than 800 users a day, he said.
Segment 7/Phase 1 cost $6.4 million.
It was the second segment of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail to be constructed.
The 12 to 16 feet wide ADA-compliant trail runs 1.2 miles from Natural Bridges Drive to Bay/California streets along the coastal side of the existing rail line. It includes 10 green crossbikes, a 60-foot long steel truss bridge, a 70-foot long soldier pile retaining wall and new parking for vehicles and bikes.
The annual Caltrans Excellence in Transportation Awards are chosen from statewide submissions with one award for each of 11 categories. The Santa Cruz project won in the “Intermodal Transportation” category. Judging criteria included effectiveness in reducing highway congestion/providing options to single-occupancy vehicle use and safety improvements for travelers/workers.
The ACEC awards criteria included social economic and sustainable design considerations where solutions produce value to the community environment.