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Posted on: October 1, 2020

News Release - City Breaks Ground on Highway 1 Safety Operational Improvements – South

City Breaks Ground on Highway 1 Safety Operational Improvements – South New Intersection Design, Signals at Highway 1/Main Street/Higgins Canyon Road

October 1, 2020 – The City of Half Moon Bay officially began work on significant safety improvements to a critical Highway 1 intersection serving Downtown, the community, and the coastside. A small groundbreaking ceremony today commemorated the start of reconstruction and improvement of the intersection of Highway 1/Main Street/Higgins Canyon Road. 

The intersection, currently regulated by stop signs, will be signalized and reconfigured to eliminate the “high-speed” right turn from northbound Highway 1. The right turn to Main Street from the south will be modified, and three signalized pedestrian crossings across Highway 1/Main Street will be added. The current closest signalized pedestrian crossings are ½-mile to the north and 1-mile to the south. Additionally, a bike-box (pavement markings providing a place in front of the vehicular stop line for bicyclists to queue up at a red light) will be placed on southbound Main Street. 

The entire intersection with Higgins Canyon Road will be realigned, and landscaped highway medians and adjustments in turning lanes will further improve safety and aesthetics for this section of Highway 1. The project includes two large concrete entry structures and landscape improvements to create a South Gateway to Main Street. The project is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. 

We’re excited to see this important traffic, bicycle, and pedestrian safety project get underway, with many thanks to the San Mateo County Transportation Authority for Measure A grant funding” said Half Moon Bay Mayor Adam Eisen. “Not only will this project improve this much-used intersection and make it safer for all uses, it will be a new, more attractive gateway into our City.” 

This is the South portion of the City’s Highway 1 Safety Operational Improvements Project, which is a set of roadway, signalization, and pedestrian features and upgrades designed to increase safety and improve traffic flow along Highway 1 through portions of Half Moon Bay. Together with the North section, the project as a whole also provides improved response times for emergency vehicles, and median landscaping for enhanced aesthetics. 

More information on the South part of the project, including design renderings of this intersection, is online here. For information on the North part of the project, visit this web page

In 2012, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) awarded the City $3.5 million for design, right-of-way, and construction for each of the two projects (for a total of $7 million). After allocating funds in 2018 for design, in 2019 (following Caltrans’ approval of the project plans and specifications) the SMCTA Board allocated funds for the construction phase of the Highway 1 South Project. Following the project construction bid opening, SMCTA agreed to an increase of its original construction funding commitment, and on July 9, 2020, approved an additional $440,000 for construction of the Project for a total project cost, including design & environmental, of $4,600,000.

Highway 1 is a critical north-south arterial that connects residents to services, shopping, and activities in Half Moon Bay.  School-age children utilize the corridor for access to and from their schools (when schools are in session), and many people, both locals and visitors, are in the corridor for recreational uses, or to get to their recreational destinations. The Highway 1 Safety Operational Improvements Project is intended to address the safety and operational issues along Highway 1, to make the area safer pedestrian and bicyclists, and improve traffic flow.

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