Highway 1 alternate route undergoing construction, delays to start Friday

Storm repair project starts in Santa Cruz County

APTOS, Calif - Crews started “pre-construction survey work” Monday on a storm-damaged portion of Soquel Drive in Aptos, a busy alternate to Highway 1, according to Santa Cruz County spokesperson, Jason Hoppin. 

On Monday, traffic was not impacted, but starting Friday, the county public works department is reducing a portion of the two-lane road to one lane. 

“It’s a major thoroughfare and down to one lane, that means traffic will be stopped all the way to the (Aptos) Village,” Aptos resident Donald Opdyke said. 

The Soquel Drive project is just one of at least a half dozen major county road projects following a rough winter. In June, the county reopened Old Soquel San Jose Road, which is a popular alternate route to the often-dreadful Highway 17, but the county says more work might need to be done. It’s a similar story on Valencia Road in Aptos. In August, crews put in a temporary bridge, but the key word there is “temporary.” 

This latest project on Soquel Drive presents new challenges. The area is already rather congested as crews continue work on the new Aptos Village Shopping Center. The mess has some businesses seeing some losses. 

“I know a lot of the other businesses have been hit hard,” said Todd Wooldridge, who volunteers at Caroline’s Thrift Store in Aptos. “It’s been way off, 20, 30 percent.” 

The Soquel Drive project should be wrapped up by December. The first phase of the Aptos Village Shopping Center should be finished sometime in 2018.

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