Monterey County Herald: Castroville Bike-Pedestrian Overpass Project Funding Restored

Building a bridge over railroad tracks to make it safer for high school students to get to school is being touted by local transportation officials as an example of how Monterey County would benefit from “self-help” status linked to a proposed transportation sales tax measure aimed at the fall ballot.

State funding was restored this month for the Castroville bicycle and pedestrian project, which would include a bridge over the Union Pacific rail line splitting off the town of Castroville from Castroville Boulevard, where North Monterey County High School is. It comes just a month after the $6.6 million earmarked for the proposal was withdrawn by the state Transportation Commission due to a $150 million budget shortfall blamed on falling oil prices and gas tax revenue.

That means the county-backed project is back on for a summer construction start, but only after a ride on the government funding see-saw. Transportation officials say a guaranteed local source of funding such as the Transportation Agency for Monterey County-contemplated 3/8-cent sales tax measure aimed at raising about $20 million annually over a 30-year period could help projects such as these better deal with that see-saw.

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