Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC)

When asked why we do what we do, the answer is easy: we build connections so that communities thrive and grow. As the outgoing Chair of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) Board of Directors, I would like to share what the agency has accomplished this year and what we are working on to build connections so that we thrive and grow:

Measure X

Prior to Monterey County voters adopting the countywide local transportation sales tax, Measure X, in 2016, annual revenues were conservatively estimated to be $20 million per year. Actual revenues have been significantly higher. 

This new revenue, along with Measure X program’s existing fund balance, will allow Measure X projects to meet local match requirements and cover construction cost increases for the next five years. Since 60% of the Measure X funds are allocated to the cities and County, these increased revenues will primarily accrue to local road and street projects.

The Measure X Citizens Oversight Committee continues their important work to ensure that Measure X funds are spent as promised to the voters.

State Route 156/Castroville Boulevard Interchange

The state approved the Final Environmental Impact Report and an Addendum pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, for the State Route 156 Castroville Boulevard interchange project. 

California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved a request for a 24-month time extension for the $20 million funding allocation for the construction of the project. TAMC requested the extension to allow time for PG&E to complete the engineering needed to relocate their utilities and Caltrans to finish the right-of-way certification before the construction contract is awarded.

Fort Ord Regional Trail & Greenway: Canyon Del Rey

The state awarded an allocation of $9,181,000 for the construction of the Fort Ord Regional Trail and Greenway (FORTAG) Highway 218 (Canyon Del Rey) segment. Utility relocation work is currently underway, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.

Monterey County Rail Projects

The TAMC Board of Directors approved a 50/50 split of Senate Bill 125 transit and intercity rail and zero emission funding between bus and rail transit projects. The regional rail projects that would be funded are the Pajaro/Watsonville Multimodal Station project design; the Monterey County Rail Extension project construction, including Coast Rail Positive Train Control; and the King City Station construction. 

The Board decision offered the rare opportunity to fund transformative investments that would bring long-term change for the region’s low-income communities and communities of color.

The CTC approved a time extension of 20 months for $12,573,000 of construction funds for the Salinas Layover Facility. The extension will allow time for TAMC to certify final design documents with Union Pacific Railroad and acquire access to the remaining land parcels located on Union Pacific property.

Imjin Road Widening & Roundabout Project

The Imjin Road Widening & Roundabout project, which is the second regional Measure X project to be constructed, is underway with fencing for habitat mitigation. The next phase of work will begin in January with tree trimming and removal work. For the most current information about the project, construction schedule, and travel impacts, visit the project website at imjinparkway.com.

US 101 South of Salinas

The US 101 South of Salinas project is in the Project Approval and Environmental Document phase. The Caltrans design team is developing conceptual plans for the project along 5.5 miles of US 101 from Airport Boulevard to Main Street in Chualar that will be used to define the project’s environmental impacts. Once conceptual designs are completed, a series of community outreach engagements will occur next year to gather public input.

TAMC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Spence Road Auxiliary Lane with U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, who worked with U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla to secure a $1 million federal earmark for the project. The auxiliary lane provides space for trucks to safely accelerate from Spence Road onto US 101 and provides a deceleration lane for traffic exiting to Eckhardt Road. The auxiliary lane is an initial safety improvement in the US 101 South of Salinas project.

Safe Routes to Schools

The Salinas Valley Safe Routes to School Plan continues to identify barriers to safe access to all K-12 public schools in the Salinas Valley and recommend infrastructure and non-infrastructure improvements. Through the participatory budgeting process, Safe Routes to School Steering Committees, made up of community representatives in each city, helped develop a list of project safety improvements for their community to vote on.

TAMC installed 12 “traffic gardens” on school playgrounds throughout Monterey County and at San Antonio Park in King City. Traffic gardens are safe and fun spaces where children can learn the rules of the road and practice bicycling and driving skills in a safe environment. They feature small-sized streets with scaled-down traffic features to teach kids how to navigate streets and traffic.

Scenic Route 68

TAMC and Caltrans hosted an open house and three public hearings to share information and solicit public feedback on the Draft Environmental Document for the Scenic Route 68 Corridor Improvement project. Public comments can still be submitted to Caltrans by email at [email protected] through Jan. 8, 2024.

SURF! Busway and Bus Rapid Transit Project

Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) has completed early planning and environmental review for the SURF! project. MST expects to complete the final design in the spring of 2024 and begin construction by the end of 2024. When completed, this regional project will serve as a vital transit link for the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley.

Highway 1 Elkhorn Slough Resiliency Project

Assemblymember Dawn Addis and State Sen. John Laird secured $1 million in state funding for the Highway 1 Elkhorn Slough Resiliency project. The Highway 1 corridor through Elkhorn Slough presents significant challenges to the future of transportation in the Monterey Bay region under conditions of climate change and sea level rise. 

TAMC will use this funding for planning activities to evaluate potential critical infrastructure updates to the transportation corridors, Highway 1, the parallel rail corridor, and the parallel county roads through the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing.

With the year’s end, I will hand the gavel over to Supervisor Chris Lopez, who is the incoming Chair of the Board of Directors, as we remain committed to building connections so that our communities thrive and grow.


Mike LeBarre, Mayor of King City, is the Outgoing Chair of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County Board of Directors.

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Outgoing Chair, TAMC Board of Directors

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