CENTRAL COAST, Calif. -- CalTrans is awarding $312 million for over 100 highway beautification projects across the state, including five in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties and 12 across the entire Central Coast.
The projects are part of Gov. Gavin Newom's $1.1 billion Clean California initiative and are designed to "foster cultural connections and civic pride," said CalTrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers.
The 126 beautification projects across the state are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of CalTrans' multi-year initiative to remove trash and beautify community gateways and public areas, Shivers said.
Roughly 98% of the projects will benefit historically underserved or excluded communities, according to Shivers.
“CalTrans has partnered with communities throughout California to identify and develop projects that meet the specific needs of each region while also enhancing and beautifying public spaces,” said CalTrans Director Toks Omishakin.
“By working together, we’re better able to restore public pride in our communities and help change the habits that create litter in the first place.”
The projects include art installations, green space, safety improvements, and will promote community connections, Shivers said.
The five projects coming to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties include:
- Chumash Museum beautification along Highway 154 in Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara County
- Highway beautification and community enhancements along Highway 166 in New Cuyama, Santa Barbara County
- Main Street beautification and pedestrian upgrades along Highway 135 in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara County
- Main Street parklet creation along Highway 1 in Oceano, San Luis Obispo County
- Park and ride lot enhancement along U.S. 101 in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo County
There are seven projects in other Central Coast counties, including Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties.
All 12 projects total up to $11.5 million, according to Shivers.
Construction work is anticipated to begin in April.