Rightfully, San Benito County residents complain about road conditions more than any other local issue. Our road conditions are unacceptable, and they have been for a very long time. 

After spending my first year on the San Benito County Board strongly advocating for a major investment in local roads, I’m proud to say supervisors in 2022 approved the biggest investment to county road repairs in recent history. 

This included allocating $28 million assembled from available reserves and other discretionary funds—with no additional taxes—which will go toward the extensive list of road repairs. That approved funding will combine with other available dollars, such as the state sales tax and Measure G local sales tax sources of revenue, to create a robust workload in the coming years. 

At a recent board meeting, supervisors received the latest update on roads included in plans over the next three years and when they will be repaired. The list includes the following: 

  • Cole Road in 2023
  • Salinas Road near Mission Vineyard Road in 2024
  • Salinas Grade Road to county limits in 2026
  • Union Road’s remaining stretch in 2024
  • San Juan Canyon Road in 2024
  • Seely Avenue in 2024
  • Buena Vista Road portion in 2023
  • Bixby Road in 2025
  • Wright Road in 2024/25
  • Fairview/Fallon Road intersection signal in 2024
  • Fairview Road reconstruction in 2024
  • Shore Road from Frazier Lake to Fairview Road in 2023
  • Frazier Lake Road reconstruction in 2024/25
  • Wright Road at McCloskey in 2025/26
  • Fairview Road near San Felipe in 2026
  • Fairview south and north of Santa Ana Creek in 2024
  • Quien Sabe Road portion and most streets around Tres Pinos in 2024
  • Panoche Road in 2023
  • New Idria Road in 2023

Additionally, with San Juan Bautista doing work on about a half-dozen roads headed toward the Hollister wastewater plant to accommodate the sewer extension to the city, the county has set aside about $4 million of the $28 million to repave the other sides of those roads while the city does that work. This includes the San Justo Road corridor area. 

Projects being wrapped up this year, meanwhile, include repaving to Carr Avenue; Anzar Road; Cienega Road near the wineries; and segments of Fairview Road, Best Road and Southside Road.

Other related, upcoming projects include repairs to drainage issues on Union Road, bike lanes on the new Highway 156 frontage once the expansion is done, and a roundabout at River Parkway and San Benito Street. 

Additionally, the county this summer is launching a striping program on an array of roads, including San Juan Highway, to improve visibility. As for San Juan Highway’s pavement conditions, I will continue working with staff to identify funding to address that stretch that needs to be repaved. 

Clearly, the county will be very active with road construction in the coming years. It is my goal to keep this momentum going well beyond this slate of projects, because we have a lot more work to do for many years ahead to bring our damaged roads up to acceptable conditions. 

Kollin Kosmicki is District 2 San Benito County Supervisor

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  1. Finally doing something except I see nothing about repairing Cienega Road going to our world class wineries. So sad that a road that brings tourist dollars looks like your going to banjo plucking country!

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  2. Ah Mon Ami!
    What is SBCCOG’s #1 Top Priority? Since you were a cub reporter for the Dispatch, long before you became Editor, SBCCOG’s #1 Top Priority has been, and still is, Emperor Transit First. How many letters did you and Mark Derry publish for me? A few. And did we ever see any change in COG? Did they ever make motorists safety their #1 Top Priority? No even after SBC Health Nurse Janet Graham was killed in a cross-over accident on Hwy. 25 commuting from her home in Morgan Hill to Hollister. When she was the Chairwoman of the SBC Safe Kids Coalition she sent me to COG to beg them to make Hwy. 25 a “Safety Corridor” like parts of US101. She sent me to the Lucille Packard Foundation in Palo Alto to address their SKC on the then-new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, the termination of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the creation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. How ironic then that she should be killed on Hwy 25, which COG had no money to improve, so they said, while pouring millions into their Emperor Transit First boondoggle, “partnering” with SCCVTA in their so-called “Mobility Partnership.” How many motorists have been killed, injured, on local highways under the unsound, unsustainable transport policy of SBCCOG, unelected “directors” who govern transport in SBC without the consent of the voters? When I gave the eulogy for Janet at her church in Hollister, I chose John Donne, “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls—it tolls for thee.” COG never lifted a finger, and the rest is history. Later, His Honor Brad Pike led a “Safe on 25–Stay Alive on 25” campaign, but it was too late for Janet. Today, COG clings to its boondoggles-first policy, making unsound, unsustainable and unfair transport policy decisions, convinced of how right they are, unwilling to change, and certainly won’t put any private sector solution on one of their agendas. I tried for ten years, sometimes with your help, but got nowhere. Today we suffer the consequences of COG’s self-proclaimed “success.” Empty bus seat transport is their top achievement. Remember the Drunken Cowboy from Bitterwater example I gave them from their podium? It’s not just SBC; the whole State suffers from their stubborn worship of Emperor Transit First, his magnificent robes, when he is stark naked. As a youngster you showed me some promise—where are you today, when we need you? Caveat viator. Sincerely, Joseph P. Thompson, Esq., Past-Chair, Legislation Committee, Transportation Lawyers Assn.; Charter Member, SBCCOG Citizens Transit Task Force; Charter Member, SBCCOG Citizens Rail Advisory Committee; 408-848-5506; E-Mail: [email protected]; Past-President, 1999-2001, 2006, Gilroy-Morgan Hill Bar Assn.

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