Progress on the Nash Road Bypass—a critical component of San Benito High School’s new campus plan— is inching along, according to an update given at February’s intergovernmental committee meeting.
The new bypass road will allow the closing of a portion of Nash Road between Monterey and West Streets, right in the middle of the San Benito High School campus, during the school year. The project has a total cost of approximately $1.3 million, with funds coming from Measure G that voters approved in 2014. The goal is to complete construction by August, before the start of the new school year.
“We are coordinating with the San Benito High School District and the San Benito County Water District to keep this project moving,” Resource Management Agency Director John Guertin said at the Feb. 1 meeting. “Right now, we are expecting the 90 percent drawings to come in next week for our engineers to review.”
In November 2016, the Hollister City Council, San Benito County Board of Supervisors, and San Benito High School District approved an interagency agreement to close the busy portion of Nash Road near high school because of safety concerns.
The bypass road needs to be built and opened before the closure goes into effect, but the county needs to construct it first.
Guertin told the intergovernmental committee that the county planned to go out to bid for construction contractors in May, with construction anticipated to start in late June or early July.
San Benito High School District Supt. Shawn Tennenbaum urged the county to move quickly on the bidding process.
“Listening to the May timeline, I’m a little bit alarmed,” Tennenbaum said. “The May timeline means you are going to hit June/July bidding and construction and that is peak construction time. Right now, everybody is full of work. It is incumbent to move as quick as possible just to secure summer bids.”
Guertin said his department was working to get bids out in April, but that the May timeline offered a buffer.
“We don’t want to do anything that’s going to push this off where we have to push it off,” he said. “If we get into the winter months then we have to push it off until next year. We don’t want to do that.”