Information provided by San Benito County Council of Governments
San Benito County Council of Governments (COG) said it has received support from Congressman Jimmy Panetta, who is recommending an award of $10 Million in federal funds for improvements to Highway 25. If awarded, COG, the regional transportation agency, will match the funding with Measure G sales tax expedite the project design and construction.
“Congressman Panetta understands the need for Highway 25 improvements for Hollister residents who drive it every day to the commercial traffic that supports economic development in the County,” said Ignacio Velazquez, Hollister Mayor and Chairperson of COG. “With this help we can match funding we are getting from Measure G and move the project forward.”
“We are grateful for the congressman’s support—this which will help us fund critical phases of the project that county residents approved when they voted in favor of Measure G,” said Mary Gilbert, COG Executive Director.
“The community has overwhelmingly supported this request,” said Veronica Lezama, Transportation Planner with COG. “The congressman’s staff told us that we submitted more support statements than they could include in the national database.” Statements came from Senator Anna Caballero, Assemblymember Robert Rivas, the California Highway Patrol, the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce, the San Benito County Business Council, the San Benito County Economic Development Corporation, the Measure G Transportation Safety and Investment Plan Citizens Oversight Committee, the Cities of Hollister and San Juan Bautista, and San Benito County Administration.
The press release said that expediting Highway 25 Improvements is COG’s Priority
Phase of the Highway 25 Improvements project includes the design and construction of a new four lane expressway from Hollister to Hudner Road, and an interchange with Highway 156. The project will improve safety by reducing collisions and will cut down on travel time to and from Hollister. The project has been in development since the early 2000s. Most recently, COG approved an implementation plan for improvements and commemorated the kickoff of the detailed environmental study with a ribbon-cutting in Fall 2020.