Outpost file photo.

Well, here’s a pleasant Friday surprise: The California Transportation Commission is kicking down a cool $1 billion to fund 93 new walking and biking projects in some of the state’s “disadvantaged communities.” Humboldt County communities qualify as such, but hopefully today’s news makes us incrementally more advantaged: millions of dollars are headed our way for new walking and biking projects.

According to a press release from Caltrans, approximately $9 million will go toward the City of Eureka’s Bay to Zoo Trail, which will establish two brand-new miles of Class I bike path and non-motorized facilities through the city, connecting with Zane Middle School and Washington Elementary with access to St. Joseph Hospital.

Another $2.3 million has been earmarked for Eureka’s C Street Bike Boulevard project, which calls for traffic calming elements and other bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements at busy intersections.

And that’s not all! Humboldt is also slated to receive about $12.4 million, including almost $11 million in federal money, to install a retaining wall and drainage improvements along Avenue of the Giants. And another $1.6 million will go toward sidewalk improvements in Eureka.

Get the full breakdown in the following press release from Caltrans:

SACRAMENTO — The California Transportation Commission (CTC) this week approved $1 billion for 93 new walking and biking projects for disadvantaged communities as part of the 2023 Active Transportation Program and allocated nearly $878 million for projects to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state. The allocation includes more than $209 million in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) and more than $339 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

The active transportation projects approved at the meeting will benefit disadvantaged communities throughout California, two-thirds of which will implement safe routes for children to walk or bike to school. The projects make up more than half of the 2023 Active Transportation Program, with an additional $700 million to be awarded in the spring. Much of the funding comes from a one-time infusion of $1 billion for active transportation in the 2022-23 state budget as part of a nearly $15 billion transportation infrastructure package.

“California and our federal partners are continuing to make historic headway in addressing our transportation needs and advancing safety, equity, climate action and economic prosperity,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “Importantly, this includes significant investments in infrastructure that allows everyone to access active means of transportation, like walking and biking.”

Active transportation projects approved at the meeting include:

  • Approximately $9M toward the City of Eureka Bay to Zoo Trail in Humboldt County.
  • Approximately $2.3M toward the City of Eureka C Street Bike Boulevard in Humboldt County.
  • Approximately $7.7M toward the Gualala Downtown Streetscape Enhancement Plan in Mendocino County. 
The $878 million in projects the CTC approved include:
SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually that is shared equally between the state and local agencies. Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1. For more information about transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov.

Someday soon this will become part of Eureka’s Bay to Zoo Trail.