Town hall meeting about Highway 25 set for Jan. 29

Local transportation agencies are hosting a town hall meeting
Jan. 29 to discuss proposed safety improvements to Highway 25
between Hollister and Gilroy.
The meeting at the Veterans Memorial Building from 6-8 p.m. will
include a presentation, along with a question-answer session with
project designers.
Local transportation agencies are hosting a town hall meeting Jan. 29 to discuss proposed safety improvements to Highway 25 between Hollister and Gilroy.

The meeting at the Veterans Memorial Building from 6-8 p.m. will include a presentation, along with a question-answer session with project designers.

Eileen Goodwin, a private project consultant, said residents’ input can “absolutely” make a difference.

“(Planning) is at the very beginning,” Goodwin said. “It’s the very, very conceptual stages.”

Safety improvements to Highway 25 from San Felipe Road to Highway 101 will likely include installation of median barriers, bettering intersections and consolidation of several driveways, according to documents from the San Benito County Council of Governments (COG).

One goal of the safety improvements is reduction of head-on collisions, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP) documents. Between 2000 and 2002, there were 20 fatalities on the stretch of Highway 25 – though there were none in 2003.

CHP Capt. Bob Davies is one of several officials expected to attend the meeting, Goodwin said. Others include county transportation planner Lisa Berg and members of COG.

Hollister’s Redevelopment Agency (RDA) will fund most of the project – the RDA recently issued a $35 million bond. Its construction is scheduled for completion in 2006.

Hollister City Councilman Tony LoBue, a vocal advocate of Highway 25 improvements, said he hopes to see a “good strong showing” at the meeting next week.

“It’s important because the people are going to decide what they want to see happen,” LoBue said Monday.

A separate project to widen Highway 25, funded through Caltrans, could begin as early as 2009. It will likely cost more than $200 million, according to estimates.

For more information on the meeting or Highway 25, call COG at 637-7665.

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