Work resumes on Highway 156

Construction on the Highway 156 Corridor Improvement Project continues with a focus on earth removal over the next several weeks, according to a press release from Caltrans.

Crews will accelerate efforts to excavate the Union Road Hill and plan to move some 120,000 cubic yards of material from that area and distribute it throughout areas west of that location. In order to distribute this material, haul trucks will pass back and forth across Union Road, just south of Highway 156, says the press release.

Travelers will encounter a flagging operation at Union Road just south of Highway 156, which will be in effect Monday thru Friday from 7am-3:30pm. Travelers can expect brief delays while flaggers conduct intermittent traffic control when trucks need to travel across Union Road.

Weather permitting, this flagging operation is expected to begin May 3, and will continue for the next several weeks, Caltrans said. Updates will be provided as progress continues on excavation of the hillside.

San Juan Hollister Road remains closed to through traffic between Union Road and Fourth Street/Highway 156 Business Route for the duration of construction, Caltrans said. This closure is necessary not only for construction related activities but also for the safety of the crews. Continue to take alternate routes through the area.

The San Benito Route 156 Improvement Project will construct a four-lane expressway immediately south of the existing Highway 156 alignment. The 5.2-mile project will begin in San Juan Bautista at The Alameda and continue to just east of Highway 156 Business Route (Fourth Street) in Hollister.

During construction, access will be closed from Highway 156 to Mission Vineyard Road in San Juan Bautista. Also, travelers will not be able to access San Juan Hollister Road from Union Road.

Updates for the San Benito Route 156 Improvement Project can be found on the Transportation Updates page of the Council of San Benito County Governments at:

The contractor for this project is Teichert Construction of Sacramento. The project is expected to conclude in Summer 2025.

Free Comic Book Day May 6

Bill’s Bullpen in downtown Hollister is one of thousands of comic book shops around the world that will participate in Free Comic Book Day on May 6. 

“Free Comic Book Day is a great event for the whole community,” said Bill Mifsud, owner of Bill’s Bullpen. “Bringing everyone together, finding books for everyone to enjoy, and seeing people of all ages—children, teens and adults—sharing our passion for comics is incredible. Even if you’ve never picked up a comic book, we want to welcome everyone to Bill’s Bullpen on May 6th, because there are so many amazing comics this year and we can’t wait to share them.”

Bill’s Bullpen is located at 407 Fourth St. Visit the store from 10am-8pm on May 6 for Free Comic Book Day. 

Each year, participating stores give away more than six million comic books to fans in an effort to introduce them to the wonders of comics. 

This is the 22nd year Bill’s Bullpen plans to celebrate Free Comic Book Day, offering the community a fun, family-oriented event where everyone can find a comic they’ll enjoy. Participants can also take pictures with their favorite superheroes and enter a raffle with prizes. 

“With awesome titles like Avengers and Spider-man, we’re sure there’s a comic book for everyone,” Mifsud said. “Comics are a fun and enduring form of entertainment for readers of all ages to dive into as imagination comes to life. Whether it be popular comics, film, television shows or video games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.” 

Regular updates, information about comic books, and a list of participating publishers and their free comics are online at 

For information, call Bill’s Bullpen at 831.636.1180 or follow the store on Facebook.  

Disaster unemployment assistance available

Residents who have lost work as a result of damages from the snow and ice from the severe winter storms and the flooding, landslides and mudslides that took place in February and March may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

Residents who live or work in San Benito, Kern, Mariposa, Monterey, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Tulare and Tuolumne may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance from the California Employment Development Department, says a press release from the EDD office. Self-employed, unemployed and part-time workers may qualify. In addition, residents who were unable to reach their place of business because the disaster prevented their travel, or those who were scheduled to begin work, but couldn’t because of the storms, may also apply.

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program is funded by FEMA and operated by the California Employment Development Department. 

To file a claim, visit or call 1.800.300.5616 Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm. The deadline to file an application is May 15.  

For the latest information on California’s recovery from the severe winter storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides, visit or You may also follow,, @FEMARegion9/Twitter and

Burning Man comes to San Benito County

UnSCruz, the Santa Cruz Regional Burning Man event, is taking place this week at Bolado Park in Tres Pinos. Tickets are sold out, but the event is expected to draw up to 2,000 people to the site of the San Benito County Fairgrounds from May 5-8.

UnSCruz features a wide variety of art installations of all sizes, fire sculptures, live music, performances, community-building theme camps, unique custom-made art cars, workshops and camping. The annual event follows the “10 Principles” of Burning Man, and is affiliated as a regional version of the long-running annual arts celebration that takes place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. 

In its ongoing efforts to promote the arts and community, unSCruz annually offers grants for artists, builders and theme camps. This year, event organizers awarded more than $93,000 in grants to unSCruz participants, according to the event website. 

In previous years, unSCruz has taken place at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville. That venue, however, has been faced with management turnover and related uncertainties in recent months. 

For more information about unSCruz, visit 

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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