I’m pleased to announce that due to my consistently vocal advocacy, the county is moving forward on plans to repave the segment of San Juan Highway that runs along Anzar High School.
This long overdue project could start as early as this summer, but the timeline is not set in stone yet as county staff engineers work out details with consultants.
The upcoming San Juan Highway project is among projects that are part of an unprecedented $28 million in county funds allocated to road repairs over the next five years. I proposed this historic package of road improvements when I joined the board in 2021, and after working with colleagues for months, supervisors approved the concept and recommended road repairs in 2022. With the county putting off repaving projects for decades in unincorporated areas, the list of terrible roads in our county is seemingly endless.
When I ran for supervisor, I made the commitment to boldly start the daunting task of catching up on these deferred road repaving projects. Without a doubt, I followed through on that commitment and will continue pushing for more road improvements as the top priority with available funds.
Over the next five years, due to this $28 million investment, the county will repave a slew of roads such as the rest of Union Road, San Juan Valley backroads leading to Hollister, Salinas Road, San Juan Canyon Road, Seely Avenue, Cienega Road, Fairview Road, Shore Road, Frazier Lake Road and an array of others. The county has made road repairs a top priority, and I have been the leader in this shift.
Up until this point, with so many roads to consider, top public works officials had recommended pursuing outside “Safe Routes to Schools” grant monies to fund San Juan Highway. Those efforts haven’t worked out, though, and I made it clear it was too risky to continue counting on chance with such competitive applications.
After discussions I held in public meetings and with top staff officials, at the Dec. 12 board meeting, Public Works Administrator Steve Loupe announced the county is shifting some available funds from the $28 million pool to repave at least the worst portion of San Juan Highway near the school and will do as much as possible with the $1.2 million available. I will continue to monitor potential further needs on this road when we find out how far the available money will go, and I’m committed to pursuing additional funds to repave more of the road after this initial segment is done.
Repaving to this highly traveled and dilapidated stretch is sorely needed, especially with so much growth in the county and a spike in the number of commuters using back roads to and from Highway 101.
Thank you to residents for sharing concerns, and thank you to fellow county supervisors and staff officials for making this happen.
Kollin Kosmicki is San Benito County District 2 Supervisor.