Highway 1 Safety & Operational Improvement Project

Latest Update: Community meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, 6 pm at the Emergency Operations Center, 537 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay.

The Highway 1 Safety and Operational Improvement Project is a set of roadway, signalization, and pedestrian/bicyclist features and upgrades designed to increase safety and improve traffic flow along Highway 1 through portions of Half Moon Bay. It will also provide for improved response times for emergency vehicles, and median landscaping for enhanced aesthetics. When completed, this project will offer a number of improvements, including: 

  1. Safer Turning and Merging Lanes:  At key sections of Highway 1, add left and right turn and merge, and provide a single lane in each direction with a center left turn lane to improve safety for traffic entering/exiting the highway from/to City streets. 
  2. New Traffic Signals:  Install new traffic signals on Highway 1 at  Terrace Avenue and South Main Street  to provide safer crossing and turning for  pedestrians, bicyclists. 
  3. Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety Improvements:  Build a walkway along the east side of Highway 1 from Spindrift Avenue to Main Street, and make safety improvements on the paved Naomi Patridge Trail at various intersections - these improvements, along with the new signalized intersections, will provide for increased safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

The project will address improvements on two segments along Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay:

For more information, contact Ray Razavi, City of Half Moon Bay at 650-726-8265 or rrazavi@hmbcity.com.

Project FAQs

How does the Project help to address traffic congestion on Highway 1? 
The creation of merge/turn lanes along with the widening of the “pinch point” just north of North Main Street will help reduce traffic back-ups along Highway 1 (includes upgrade to a single lane in each direction with center left turn lane at selected locations).

What is the funding source for the Project’s elements? 
Half Moon Bay has received grant funding from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) for a majority of the project elements. The private Pacific Ridge (Ailanto) development project is providing funding for the Terrace Avenue/Highway 1 improvements including signalization. The City intends to supplement grant funds with impact fees already provided.

What construction impacts are anticipated from the Project? 
The Project will include periodic, temporary lane closures, detours, and other traffic disruptions. Nearby neighbors should expect some noise, vibration, and dust. There may be periodic nighttime work. The City will require contractors to minimize impacts, including limiting construction start and end times, providing dust control and street sweeping, and using appropriate traffic control measures.

How was Terrace Avenue selected for a new traffic signal?
The Pacific Ridge (Ailanto) development project is required to install a traffic signal at Terrace Avenue/ Highway 1 as a condition of approval. In addition, the City’s traffic consultant collected extensive traffic data at the Terrace, Kehoe, and Grandview intersections with Highway 1, concluding that signalization is most warranted at Terrace (Caltrans agrees with that determination).

What is Caltrans’ role in the project? 
Since Highway 1 is owned by the State of California, Caltrans requires that the City provide reports, plans, and other materials to justify the need for improvements. Caltrans has completed several reviews of the traffic analyses provided the City’s traffic consultant, as well as the Project Engineering Evaluation Report (PEER) being prepared by other City consultants.

What are the steps in the Project? 
Presently, the City is in the final stages of completing the PEER for Caltrans’ review, and upon approval can request reimbursement from SMCTA for prospective design and construction work.

When will the Project be started and completed? 
The environmental clearance/Coastal Development Permit and funding agreement with SMCTA is expected to be completed in 2017. Final design is planned to be completed in 2018 and construction in 2019-2020.