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Eaton Street Improvement Project

Location: Eaton Street (7th Avenue to Lake Avenue)


Program Manager: Sheryl Bailey


Background and History: This important arterial connection from Live Oak to the City of Santa Cruz connects to the Murray Street Bridge approach and also serves as a primary route to enter the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. Currently there are no sidewalks or curbs and gutter in place and the road shoulder is very narrow . Many of the homes along this 50-foot wide right-of-way are exceptionally close to the roadway  which leaves a minimal amount of space for pedestrians and those traveling on bicycles. The existing left turn pocket onto Lake Avenue is rather short and can hinder the pace of vehicular through-traffic.   

A neighborhood meeting was held on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 to consider conceptual plans to improve pedestrian, bicycle and traffic conditions. Residents reviewed and commented on conceptual design proposals that were presented at the meeting.  The public consensus favored a design alternative that provided for 11-foot vehicle lanes, 5-foot bike lanes, a 5-foot sidewalk on the south side of Eaton Street and a longer left-turn pocket at Lake Avenue. 

Based on comments received at the neighborhood meeting, a conceptual design plan line for roadway and roadside improvements for Eaton Street between 7th Avenue and Lake Avenue was prepared.  In January of 2010, the proposed Plan Line was approved by the County Board of Supervisors. 

The approved concept plan includes, maintaining the existing vehicular travel lanes, improving the bicycle lanes, and building new sidewalks, curbs and gutters on the south side and building new curbs, gutters and bike lane on the north side of Eaton Street. No sidewalks are proposed for the north side. The plans provide some additional left turn stacking for the westbound lane approaching Lake Avenue along with modifications to the striping of the roadway. The conceptual plans also will preserve the existing large trees and include the planting some additional street trees where there is adequate room, and improving the street drainage.   


Project Status: Eaton Street design plans are now in the process of being finalized by the County of Santa Cruz Public Works Department and the Redevelopment Agency and it is anticipated that construction will begin in the spring of 2011.  It is anticipated that the Eaton Street improvements will be completed prior to the start of the City of Santa Cruz seismic retrofit project planned for the Eaton/Murray Street Bridge.