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North - South Connector Project

The North-South Connector Project, or Greenley Road Extension, in one form or another, has been included in every Tuolumne County Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) since the first RTP in 1975.

 

At a joint meeting of the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors and Sonora City Council on December 17, 2021, the Greenley Road Extension Project was discussed as a project of mutual interest. Resolution 127-21 was passed resolving to maintain open communication on issues affecting citizens with a collective mission of creating safe and healthy communities that promote economic prosperity and enhance quality of life for both citizens and visitors. On August 16, 2022 the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors approved the Public Works Department to collaborate with the Tuolumne County Transportation Council and City of Sonora on the development of a Project Initiation Document for Phase I of the North-South Connector (Greenley Road Extension) Project.

Project History

The North-South Connector Project, or Greenley Road Extension, in one form or another, has been included in every Tuolumne County Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) since the first RTP in 1975. In the early 1980’s, the Greenley Road Extension became part of the Federal Aid Secondary Program. With both Federal and State funding the project proceeded through preliminary design, State and Federal assessment, alternate route studies, and then, in 1987, a Finding of No Significant Impact was adopted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA)(February 1987). Following numerous hearings and protests from property owners, a route was adopted in September of 1987 and the project proceeded to final design.

In the years following 1987 the project has seen a number of challenges and changes. In 1989, the project was ready for property acquisition but became stalled. In 1990, the Federal Aid Secondary Program ended and funding was lost. In 1991, the Greenley Road Extension Project became the “North-South Connector Project”, without a specific route, as part of the Countywide Road Program and Traffic Mitigation Feed Program adopted by both Tuolumne County and the City of Sonora. It has remained on the list of regional improvements ever since as numerous studies have supported the project’s validity over the years. 

In 2006, the County Public Works Department completed an alignment study of the North-South Corridor. The study looked at more than 100 alternative alignments over a large geographic area. Upon conclusion of the study, staff recommended that the Stage I Greenley Road Extension alignments be further considered inclusive of more public outreach and direct consultation with property owners along the route and completion of a Preliminary Environmental Document. In 2020-2021, Caltrans conducted a Congested Corridor Plan for SR49. This comprehensive study included all modes of transportation for the purpose of reducing traffic congestion on SR49 in Jamestown and Sonora. The study also considered a western alignment of SR 49  and the Greenley Road Extension. The Caltrans study determined that the long-awaited Greenley Road Extension remains the most effective way to reduce traffic congestion in downtown Sonora.

The recent Tuolumne County Evacuation Needs Assessment and Communication Strategies Project identified SR 49 through downtown Sonora as becoming gridlocked during several fire scenarios. This reflects what we saw with the Washington Fire. While strategies to improve flow will have a positive impact the area will likely need an alternative, such as the Greenley Road Extension, to benefit evacuations. Additionally, a forty-foot-wide roadway with vegetation control withing the right-of-way would provide a beneficial fire break to residents along Browns Flat in the County and Meyer Hills area of Sonora. 

Project Goals: 
1.    The provision of an alternate evacuation route, as well as a firebreak, for the Downtown Sonora area. 
2.    Reduced traffic congestion in the downtown area with reduced traffic on SR 49, Washington Street, Elkin Street, Stewart Street, Lyons Street, and Mono Way (Restano Way To Greenley Road)
3.    Improved access to critical infrastructure

 

Current Effort

At a joint meeting of the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors and Sonora City Council on December 17, 2021, the Greenley Road Extension Project was discussed as a project of mutual interest. Resolution 127-21 was passed resolving to maintain open communication on issues affecting citizens with a collective mission of creating safe and healthy communities that promote economic prosperity and enhance quality of life for both citizens and visitors. On August 16, 2022 the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors approved the Public Works Department to collaborate with the Tuolumne County Transportation Council and City of Sonora on the development of a Project Initiation Document for Phase I of the North-South Connector (Greenley Road Extension) Project.

Project Milestones and Documents

 

RFP Released: Not yet released

 

RFP Closed: N/A

Consultant Chosen By Panel: N/A

Draft Final Plan: N/A

Final Plan, Approved: N/A

If you would like to stay informed of important project developments, and later be added to a e-mail list, please contact:

Shannon Thaggard

sthaggard@co.tuolumne.ca.us

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