Five multi-million dollar projects scheduled for Highways 25 and 156 will soon bring relief from some of the traffic congestion plaguing drivers in San Benito County.
While some of the projects are still in the development phase, others are under construction. On Sept. 16, the Caltrans provided a timeline to the San Benito Council of Governments (COG). It’s been updated for the Dec. 16 meeting with the current status of each project.
Highway 25 Expressway Conversion The expansion project will convert the two-lane highway from San Felipe Road to the Highway 25/156 intersection into a four-lane expressway. In the September report, the estimate for the completion of the environmental studies was set for fall 2021 on this $241 million project. With the completion of those studies, work on the project began Nov. 3 with final planning and analysis of the environmental studies.
Highway 25/156 Roundabout The roundabout is planned for the intersection of highways 25 and 156, north of Hollister. Bidding was opened on Oct. 27 with the contract for the $10.7 million project awarded to GraniteRock Construction, according to Caltrans Public Information Officer Kevin Drabinski. Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2022.
Highway 25 Curve Alignment Restoration This $4.3 million project will correct a 2015 alignment that resulted in slope failure on both sides of the highway. Construction will take place north of the San Benito Lateral, near where Old Hernandez Road intersects with Highway 25. According to the COG December report, the project is on schedule with right-of-way certification scheduled for May 19, 2022. A stump-and-cut contract to clear the construction area will be available for bids in fall 2022.
Highway 156 Improvement Project A $60 million plan to construct a four-lane expressway on Highway 156 from San Juan Bautista to Hollister is the largest of the current projects. Construction was originally estimated to begin in the summer of 2021, but preparatory work is still being done in the area. Drabinski said work by PG&E to relocate utilities in advance of the project should conclude by the end of this month. Details for prospective bidders will be announced in January with work to commence when the job is awarded.
U.S. 101 Southbound Connector Extension A planned westbound connector at the intersection of Highways 156 and 101 will extend the current onramp an additional 1,800 feet and will include a ramp meter. Caltrans is conducting preliminary engineering to determine the size and cost of the project.
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