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Soquel Avenue Improvement Project

Location: Soquel Avenue (Soquel Drive east to 17th Avenue)


Project Manager: Melissa Allen


Background and History: This segment of Soquel Avenue (from the Highway 1 southbound ramp east to the 17th Ave intersection) is a major east/west arterial roadway which connects Santa Cruz, Live Oak, and Capitola.  It also provides one of the primary entrances to Live Oak.  Soquel Avenue provides a route for bicycle traffic, transit, commercial, residential and through-traffic from the surrounding communities.  It parallels Highway 1 and is located within the designated Highway 1 Scenic Corridor.


Before Construction


A traffic study analyzed the volumes and operations (performance) of existing road segments and intersections and considered various improvement alternatives.  Recommendations from the study were incorporated into the project design plans. 


This project provided a new pedestrian sidewalk, curb and gutter along the south side of Soquel Avenue to improve public access, safety and drainage.  Bicycle lanes were also included on both sides of Soquel Avenue.  To improve through traffic flow and intersection movements from Soquel Drive to 17th Avenue, an additional westbound lane was constructed, as well as improvements to the stacking and turn lane length at the Soquel Avenue and 17th Avenue intersection.  As this stretch of roadway also represents a “gateway” to Live Oak, an important project goal was to improve the visual appearance along this segment by including street trees and landscaping where possible along the south side of the roadway.  These improvements implemented a segment of the Soquel Avenue Plan Line approved in 1991.  Project design and construction plans were prepared by Public Works Engineers for the roadside improvements for this segment of Soquel Avenue. Construction was completed in the spring of 2011.


After Construction