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State Route 156

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Routing Routing

  1. Rte 156 Seg 1From Route 1 near Castroville to Route 101 near Prunedale.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is unchanged from its 1963 definition.

    In 1964, a new freeway alignment of Route 1 in Castroville was adopted that included a new junction with Route 156. This new alignment included Route 156 being routed over a new overpass of the Southern Pacific Railroad in Castroville. At some point between 1979 and 1981 Route 1 was relocated west of Castroville onto a bypass. The realignment of Route 1 extended Route 156 west onto the Castroville Freeway grade to its present west terminus.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog: "California State Route 156")

    The route adoption of a new freeway routing (see below) for this segment of Route 156 notes the following regarding the history of the route:
    (Source: June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.3a.(2))

    Route 156 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System in its entirety.  The California Highway Commission adopted a Route 156 freeway alignment from Route 1 to 0.8 mile north of Castroville on February 19, 1957 and from 0.1 mile west of the October 25, 1961 adopted Route 183 alignment to the adopted US 101 alignment on June 22, 1996. On September 18, 1975, the California Highway Commission rescinded a portion of the 1957 and 1966 freeway adoptions between 0.2 mile east of adopted Route 183 and adopted US 101 due to monetary and other constraints leading to the unconstructed adopted route to remain unconstructed.  The following reasons were stated in the Route Inventory Report dated May 1, 1975: (1) financial constraints make the feasibility of construction in the adopted corridor questionable; (2) the Regional Transportation Plan indicates widening of the existing highway will meet traffic needs; (3) the existing facility can be widened to four lanes within the existing right-of-way. Since the 1975 rescission, Route 156 and its surrounding communities have changed.  New studies for the corridor started in 1997 to document the need for new transportation improvements.  A Project Study Report (PSR) completed in 1998 evaluated widening Route 156 from 2-lane conventional highway to a 4-lane expressway without addressing the interchange at US 101 and SR 156.  This PSR did not consider constructing an interchange at Castroville Boulevard.

    The project remained inactive due to funding constraints until 2003.  A Supplemental Project Study Report – Project Development Support (PSR-PDS) document was completed in April 2006 to document the change in scope.  The scope of the project changed to include a reconstruction of the US 101/Route 156 interchange and construction of the Castroville Boulevard and Cathedral Oak Road interchanges along Route 156.  The PSR-PDS document superseded the two PSRs from 1997 and 1998. In 2006, TAMC and the Department started the project studies for the Route 156 West Corridor Project (Project).  An open house scoping meeting was held on November 15, 2006 in Castroville.  On July 20, 2009, the Department held a public hearing in Castroville to present the different alternatives studied in the approved draft environmental document. On January 31, 2013, the Department completed project studies and a FEIR/Environmental Assessment (Environmental Document) leading to a Finding of No Significant Impact.  The PR was approved on January 31, 2013, recommending the construction of a new freeway alignment south of the existing alignment.  The Commission accepted the Environmental Document and approved the project for future consideration of funding on August 6, 2013 with Resolution E-13-65.  A revalidation under the National Environmental Policy Act was approved on October 8, 2020.  A Supplemental PR was approved on May 18, 2021 to modify the Project’s construction phasing to construct the Castroville Boulevard interchange first, now referred to as Segment 1.  Segments 2 and 3 will complete the construction of the four-lane freeway from the new Castroville Boulevard interchange to the junction of US 101 and Route 156.

    Existing Route 156 functions as a rural two-lane undivided highway with 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders.  It has no passing lanes but includes left turn pockets at intersections to improve operations.  Left-turn and right-turn movements on Route 156 at the intersections between Castroville Boulevard and the junction of Route 156 and US 101 result in a higher than average rate of collisions statewide.  The proposed Route 156 freeway will include the construction of a new interchange to improve local and interregional traffic circulation.  The purpose of the project is to improve safety, operation, and local and interregional traffic circulation. The Project will construct a four-lane freeway on a new alignment.  The existing Route 156 will be converted to local frontage road.  A new interchange will be constructed near the existing intersection of Route 156 and Castroville Boulevard to address traffic demand and improve safety along Route 156 in Monterey County.  Improvements will be made to the connections at Route 156 and US 101.  Due to funding constraints, the new interchange near Castroville Boulevard will be constructed first and other improvements will be constructed in subsequent phases. The County provided a resolution supporting the route adoption on May 18, 2021.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This entire routing was LRN 22. This segment was defined in 1933. It was not part of the original 1934 state signage of routes. It was likely signed in 1938 with the portion of Route 156 E of US 101, but it doesn't show up on state highway maps until after 1964.

    Originally Route 1/LRN 56 northbound entered Castroville via Preston Road where it turned left at Merritt Street. Route 156/LRN 22 westbound entered Castroville by way of an at-grade crossing of the Southern Pacific Railroad from Castroville Boulevard onto Salinas Street. Route 156/LRN 22 made a right had turn on Merritt Street and met Route 1/LRN 56 at Preston Road. Route 183/LRN 118 northbound entered Castroville on Merritt Street and terminated at Route 156/LRN 22 at Salinas Street. The original alignment of LRN 22 in Castroville can be seen on modern Castroville Boulevard headed westbound towards Route 156. As Castroville Boulevard swings left towards modern Route 156 the abandoned highway can be seen ahead approaching the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Route 156 would have originally crossed the tracks at an at-grade crossing onto Salinas Street in Castroville. A pedestrian overpass now exists where the at-grade highway crossing once existed. LRN 22 would have originally headed westbound on Salinas Street to Merritt Street. Originally LRN 22 and possibly Route 156 turned northward towards downtown Castroville and Route 1 before 1944. After 1944 Route 156 (the highway shows up topographical maps from an undetermined date) terminated at Merritt Street where it meet Route 1 which would have come in from the opposite direction on Salinas Street. Southbound Merritt Street was LRN 118 which became Route 183 during the 1964 Highway Renumbering.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog: Historic Highway Alignments in Castroville (CA 1, CA 156 and CA 183))

    Status Status

    Constructed to freeway standards from Route 1 near Castroville to Castroville Blvd.

    Until the early 1980s, Route 1 entered Castroville from the south via Route 156 eastbound (the current freeway), then exited at the diamond interchange for Merritt Street (~ MON R1.096) and continued northwest via Merritt. However, by the mid-1980s, the current Castroville bypass was constructed; as a consequence, the portion of freeway on Route 1 between Merritt Street and the bypass became an extension of Route 156, and Merritt Street became part of Route 183.

    Castroville/Prunedale West Corridor (MON R1.3/T5.2)

    Rte 156 Freeway Route Adoption, Rte 183 to U.S. 101The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures on or near this route:

    • High Priority Project #3804: Widening of Route 156 in Monterey County between Castroville and US 101. $5,000,000.

    In May 2013, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County released a report that indicated converting the outdated two-lane Route 156 into a nearby four-lane toll road between Route 1 and US 101 could be mostly paid for by modest tolls, ranging from $1.60 to $2.50 a trip. That would cover most of the $268 million in construction costs and other safety improvements along the Route 156 corridor. And most of the improvements could be completed in less than a decade, compared with the current 30-year-plus time frame.
    (Source: Mercury News, 5/20/13)

    In August 2013, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that will widen a portion of Route 156 from two lanes to four lanes and convert a portion of US 101 from an expressway to a freeway near the city of Castroville. The project is not fully funded. Design and Right of Way are programmed in the 2012 State Transportation Improvement Program. The total estimated cost is $104,194,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2018-19 or later. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2012 State Transportation Improvement Program. The project would add two new lanes in both EB and WB directions S of the existing Route 156 (which will impact farmland), on a new alignment.

    The 2018 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2018 meeting, appears to deallocate $21,400K from PPNO 0057C and recast it as the Route 156 West Corridor (allocating $1,600K), In and near Prunedale and Castroville, from 0.6 mile west of Castroville Boulevard to the Route 101/156 separation. Widen to 4 lane divided expressway. 05-Mon-156 R1.3/T5.2 05-Mon-101 94.6/96.8.

    In March 2020, the CTC approved the 2020 STIP, which continued programmed funding of $1,600K for PPNO 0057C "Rt 156 West Corridor". It also included PPNO 057C, 4-lane expressway, Castroville-Prunedale, in the Interregional portion of the STIP with no change in programming: $7.700K in prior year funding.
    (Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

    In June 2021, the CTC adopted a freeway routing for this corridor: Route 156 from Route 183 to US 101 as a new freeway alignment as part of the Route 156 West Corridor Project that will construct a new freeway alignment with interchanges south of the existing Route 156 alignment.  The Department approved the Project Report (PR) on January 31, 2013, and the Commission approved the Resolution for the Future Consideration of Funding for Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) via Resolution E-13-65 on August 6, 2013.  A revalidation form, as an update to the environmental document, and a Supplemental PR were signed on October 8, 2020 and May 18, 2021, respectively.
    (Source: June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.3a.(2))

    The adoption resolution notes:
    (Source: June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.3a.(2))

    Route 156 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System in its entirety.  The California Highway Commission adopted a Route 156 freeway alignment from Route 1 to 0.8 mile north of Castroville on February 19, 1957 and from 0.1 mile west of the October 25, 1961 adopted Route 183 alignment to the adopted US 101 alignment on June 22, 1996. On September 18, 1975, the California Highway Commission rescinded a portion of the 1957 and 1966 freeway adoptions between 0.2 mile east of adopted Route 183 and adopted US 101 due to monetary and other constraints leading to the unconstructed adopted route to remain unconstructed.  The following reasons were stated in the Route Inventory Report dated May 1, 1975: (1) financial constraints make the feasibility of construction in the adopted corridor questionable; (2) the Regional Transportation Plan indicates widening of the existing highway will meet traffic needs; (3) the existing facility can be widened to four lanes within the existing right-of-way. Since the 1975 rescission, Route 156 and its surrounding communities have changed.  New studies for the corridor started in 1997 to document the need for new transportation improvements.  A Project Study Report (PSR) completed in 1998 evaluated widening Route 156 from 2-lane conventional highway to a 4-lane expressway without addressing the interchange at US 101 and SR 156.  This PSR did not consider constructing an interchange at Castroville Boulevard.

    Route adoption for Rte 156The project remained inactive due to funding constraints until 2003.  A Supplemental Project Study Report – Project Development Support (PSR-PDS) document was completed in April 2006 to document the change in scope.  The scope of the project changed to include a reconstruction of the US 101/Route 156 interchange and construction of the Castroville Boulevard and Cathedral Oak Road interchanges along Route 156.  The PSR-PDS document superseded the two PSRs from 1997 and 1998. In 2006, TAMC and the Department started the project studies for the Route 156 West Corridor Project (Project).  An open house scoping meeting was held on November 15, 2006 in Castroville.  On July 20, 2009, the Department held a public hearing in Castroville to present the different alternatives studied in the approved draft environmental document. On January 31, 2013, the Department completed project studies and a FEIR/Environmental Assessment (Environmental Document) leading to a Finding of No Significant Impact.  The PR was approved on January 31, 2013, recommending the construction of a new freeway alignment south of the existing alignment.  The Commission accepted the Environmental Document and approved the project for future consideration of funding on August 6, 2013 with Resolution E-13-65.  A revalidation under the National Environmental Policy Act was approved on October 8, 2020.  A Supplemental PR was approved on May 18, 2021 to modify the Project’s construction phasing to construct the Castroville Boulevard interchange first, now referred to as Segment 1.  Segments 2 and 3 will complete the construction of the four-lane freeway from the new Castroville Boulevard interchange to the junction of US 101 and Route 156.

    Existing Route 156 functions as a rural two-lane undivided highway with 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders.  It has no passing lanes but includes left turn pockets at intersections to improve operations.  Left-turn and right-turn movements on Route 156 at the intersections between Castroville Boulevard and the junction of Route 156 and US 101 result in a higher than average rate of collisions statewide.  The proposed Route 156 freeway will include the construction of a new interchange to improve local and interregional traffic circulation.  The purpose of the project is to improve safety, operation, and local and interregional traffic circulation. The Project will construct a four-lane freeway on a new alignment.  The existing Route 156 will be converted to local frontage road.  A new interchange will be constructed near the existing intersection of Route 156 and Castroville Boulevard to address traffic demand and improve safety along Route 156 in Monterey County.  Improvements will be made to the connections at Route 156 and US 101.  Due to funding constraints, the new interchange near Castroville Boulevard will be constructed first and other improvements will be constructed in subsequent phases. The County provided a resolution supporting the route adoption on May 18, 2021.

    The existing Route 156 will be relinquished to Monterey County as a superseded-by-relocation relinquishment once the freeway construction is completed.  Relinquishment agreements will be executed after the freeway route adoption is approved. The total project cost for the Castroville Boulevard Interchange Project (Segment 1) is $35,991,000, including right-of-way capital cost.  The project is funded in 2021-2022 utilizing funds from Monterey County’s Transportation Safety and Investment Plan (Measure X), Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, Statewide Transportation Improvement Program – Regional Improvement Program, and other local funds. The estimated project costs for Segment 2 and Segment 3 are $106,225,000 and $250,890,000, respectively. A superseding Freeway Agreement will be executed by the Department after the Commission’s approval of the freeway route adoption.

    Castroville Overhead (№ 44-0033L) Widening (05-Mon-156 R1.4/R2.0)

    In May 2021, the CTC approved the following construction phase SHOPP allocation(s): #8. $7,633,000. 05-Mon-156 R1.4/R2.0. PPNO 05-0900A; ProjID 0513000028; EA 0A090. Route 156 Near Castroville, from Route 183 to Castroville Boulevard at Bridge № 44-0033L.  Outcome/Output: Upgrade bridge railing and widen bridge. Programmed allocation: $1,800,000 (Con Eng); $6,600,000 (Const). Difference is due to preliminary engineering savings (budgeted⇢expended): PA&ED $70,000⇢$4,146; PS&E $2,880,000⇢$2,515,150; R/W Sup $198,000⇢$136,446.
    (Source: May 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5b.(1) #8)

    In December 2021, the CTC approved a request for an additional $1,374,000 in Construction Capital for the SHOPP Bridge Rehabilitation project on Route 156 in Monterey County to award the construction contract. In March 2014, the project was programmed for $4,500,000 in construction capital in the SHOPP for delivery in Fiscal Year 2020-21.  In May 2021, the project was allocated for $5,633,000 in construction capital and $2,000,000 in construction support.  At bid opening in September 2021, the amount required to award to the lowest bidder exceeded the amount available from project allocated and G-12 funds.  The Department is requesting supplemental funds in the amount of $1,374,000 to award the construction contract.A SHOPP Amendment was approved in May 2017 that moved the delivery year from 2017-18 to 2019-20.  The construction capital was increased to $5,050,000 and construction support was increased to $1,340,000 in construction support.  In May 2019, another SHOPP Amendment was approved to move the delivery year from 2019-20 to 2020-21.  The construction capital was increased to $6,600,000 and construction support was increased to $1,800,000. Caltrans had anticipated cost increases due to the complex work site with high traffic volumes on a narrow roadway and a volatile price environment.  The project also involves coordination with the Union Pacific Railroad. In August 2021, the Department advertised the project and held Bid Opening in September 2021.  The project received six bids.  When the bids were opened and the bid summary was released, the low bid was 28.9 percent above the Engineer’s Estimate (EE). The Department anticipated that the bids would come in at or slightly above, however, the bids came in much higher than anticipated.  The primary factors leading to the increased prices include more complex methods of construction, higher overhead costs, more conservative price based on uncertainty of non-visible conditions, low economy of scale, low production rates, higher design criteria of shoring, complex staging, and higher than anticipated bid prices.  Some of the major cost increases to the bridge work were Structural Concrete (Bridge) which was double, Bridge Removal (Portion) which was triple, and Structures Excavation (Bridge) which was double. 
    (Source: December 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5e.(4))

    Castroville Blvd Interchange (~ MON R1.819)

    The 2018 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2018 meeting, appears to allocate $19,800K for the Castroville Blvd Interchange (~ MON R1.819). The Monterey COG described the project as build a new interchange at Castroville Boulevard and Route 156, with connections to Blackie Road to improve access for commercial traffic. There is a related project, also funded in the STIP, that extends Blackie Road to connect to a new interchange at Route 156 and Castroville Boulevard. The COG notes that Route 156 at Castroville Boulevard is the top collision location in Monterey County. In addition, Route 156 is the major link connecting the San Francisco Bay area and North Monterey County to the Monterey Peninsula. With its present narrow configuration, it currently operates over capacity, with substantial delays and safety concerns, particularly during special events on the Monterey Peninsula. This congestion affects travel to and from the Peninsula as well as travel between US 101 and Route 1 for local residents. In addition, the traffic impedes access to the Oak Hills neighborhood. This project will direct truck traffic away from Merritt Street in Castroville and from the accident‐ridden Route 183/Route 156 interchange. It will also help relieve traffic congestion on Route 156 while improving safety and local traffic circulation in North Monterey County. The extension of Blackie Road provides traffic congestion relief and improves safety for Oak Hills and other local communities.

    In April 2018, it was reported that a new interchange is being pursued at Castroville Boulevard and Route 156, where there is currently a stop light. An interchange would end t-bone accidents, rear-end collisions and make it safer by getting trucks out of Castroville, with a new Route 156 connection to Blackie Road. This could take five years.
    (Source: Mercury News, 4/5/2018)

    In March 2020, the CTC approved the 2020 STIP, which adjusted the programmed funding for PPNO 0057D "Castroville Blvd Interchange", from $19,800K to $27,675K.
    (Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

    In June 2020, the CTC approved the following allocation: $18,100,000 for the Right of Way capital phase for 05-Mon-156 R1.6/1.4 PPNO 05-0057D ProjID 0518000120 EA 31601 Castroville Boulevard Interchange. Route 156 in Monterey County at Castroville Boulevard from Post Mile R1.6 to 1.4. Build a new interchange at Castroville Boulevard and Route 156. The  project scope requires the acquisition of 15 parcels and extensive offsite environmental  mitigation and utilities. The signalized intersection at Castroville Boulevard and Route 156 is the only signal along the  route west of US 101. Because of that, drivers may be unprepared for traffic that has completely stopped due to a red signal. The accident rate at the Castroville Boulevard  intersection on Route 156 is over twice the rate of what would be expected of a similar  intersection in California. Additionally, the frequent stoppage of traffic due to the signal causes congestion. Traffic has been known to back-up in both directions for miles during the Summer and for weekend events on the peninsula.
    (Source: June 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5c.(8))

    In December 2020, it was reported that the first phase of the long-awaited Route 156 corridor improvement project was fully funded and ready for construction after being approved for $20 million in state gas tax funding by the California Transportation Commission. According to the Transportation Agency for Monterey County, the state transportation commission gave the thumbs to allocating SB 1 trade corridor enhancement program funds for the $55.2 million Castroville Boulevard interchange project. The funding was part of a $2 billion package approved for 56 projects across the state aimed at federally designated trade corridors of national and regional significance with a “high volume of freight movement” such as Route 156, which supports the county’s $4.4 billion-per-year agricultural industry by serving a key route for truck traffic. The state funding means the Castroville Boulevard interchange project now has the entire $29.5 million needed to move forward with construction in the next two years. It is part of the overall $380 million Route 156 improvement project that includes a proposed $75 million four-lane expressway between the new Castroville Boulevard interchange and US 101 in Prunedale, and a new $250 million interchange at Route 156 and US 101. The project includes constructing a new Castroville Boulevard interchange including an overpass and three roundabouts to the east of the existing four-way stoplight and expanding the highway to four lanes from the stoplight intersection to the new location. It will be constructed to operate in conjunction with both the current highway route and the proposed four-lane expressway.
    In addition to the $20 million in state SB 1 funding, the interchange project is being funded by about $27.7 million in state Transportation Improvement Program funding, $5 million in developer fees and $2.25 million in voter-approved Measure X funding. The project was originally slated to receive $30 million in Measure X funding but Hale said the state funding allowed Transportation Agency for Monterey County to redirect those funds to the Blackie Road extension, which would connect Castroville’s industrial area to the new Castroville Boulevard interchange and allow truck traffic to avoid Route 183 through downtown Castroville and the interchange at US 101 and Route 183.
    (Source: Monterey Herald, 12/3/2020)

    US 101/ Route 156 WB Interchange (05-MON-101 PM 94.6/96.8; 05-MON-156 PM 3.9/T5.6)

    In June 2021, it was reported that this project is one of the projects under consideration for the funds received from sale of the ROW purchased for the freeway routing of the Prunedale Bypass, the adoption of which was undone in June 2021. This project (EA 05-31600, ProjID 0500000497) proposes to remove and reconstruct the current interchange.  The new interchange configuration will include a fully functioning interchange and a new flyover structure which will connect eastbound Route 156 traffic to northbound US 101.  This project also proposes to convert US 101 from a four-lane expressway to a four-lane freeway within the project limits.  This segment of US 101 experiences congestion in both the northbound and southbound directions on a regular basis, especially on weekends.  Heavy weekend traffic is generated by tourism from the Bay Area to the Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur.  There are safety concerns and operational deficiencies due to poor weaving distances and at-grade intersections.  The operational deficiencies exacerbate the congestion problems. The project proposes to improve safety and address numerous operational deficiencies on US 101 by improving weaving distances, removing at-grade intersections, and constructing a new frontage road. Cost Range:  $300,000,000 to $425,000,000.
    (Source: June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.3a.(1); June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 4.27)

    In December 2021, there was an update on the status of this project: A planned westbound connector at the intersection of Route 156 and US 101 will extend the current onramp an additional 1,800 feet and will include a ramp meter. Caltrans is conducting preliminary engineering to determine the size and cost of the project. 
    (Source: BenitoLink, 12/8/2021)


  2. Rte 156 Seg 2From Route 101 to Route 152 passing near San Juan Bautista and Hollister.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was defined as "(b) Route 101 near The Rocks to Route 152 via San Juan Bautista and Hollister."

    On the 1966 Division of Highways State Map the route of Route 156 west of San Juan Bautista is shown upgraded to a new expressway.

    In 1968, Chapter 282 clarified the routing as "(b) Route 101 near The Rocks to Route 152 via passing near San Juan Bautista and Hollister."

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This entire routing was LRN 22. The original portion of the route was defined in 1909 and ran from San Juan Bautista to Hollister. In 1919, the portion from Hollister to Route 152 was defined, and in 1933, the remainder of the route (between Castroville and San Juan Bautista) was added. It was signed as Route 156 by 1938 (as it shows up on the 1938 State Highway Map as a state signed route), but was not part of the original 1934 state signage of routes.

    Within San Benito County the original path of Legislative Route 22 used the following route west of Route 152:
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog: "California State Route 156")

    • The present alignment from the Santa Clara County Line southwest to San Felipe Road.
    • San Felipe Road southward into downtown Hollister which becomes San Benito Street.
    • San Benito Street west to 4th Street.
    • 4th Street west to San Juan-Hollister Road. San Juan-Hollister Road used to connect to modern Route 156 before the present bypass route was built. Much of the alignment described above is now part of Business Route 156 in Hollister.
    • Modern Route 156 on San Juan Road west to Old San Juan-Hollister Road.
    • Old San Juan-Hollister Road west to the The Alameda (which was part of the San Juan Grade of US 101).
    • The Alameda north into downtown San Juan Baustista to Third Street.
    • Third Street to Monterey Street.
    • West on Monterey Street back to the modern Route 156 expressway.
    • The Route 156 expressway was to Rocks Road.
    • Rocks Road west to US 101 on the Prunedale Grade.

    Within Monterey County LRN 22 westbound multiplexed US 101 southbound through Prunedale to San Miguel Canyon Road. From San Miguel Canyon Road LRN 22 turned west onto Castroville Boulevard where it continued onward to Salinas Street in Castroville. Within Castroville LRN 22 and later Route 156 swung north onto Merritt Street to meet Route 1 at Preston Road. On the September 1935 Department of Public Works guide the new route of LRN 22 west of San Juan Buatista to US 101/LRN 2 (referred to the Prunedale Cut-Off) is discussed. The original route of LRN 22 on Rocks Road is referred to as "a winding county road" that was immediately improved temporarily with an oiled earth application upon being adopted in 1933. The new junction with LRN 22 and US 101/LRN 2 is shown to be a Y-Configuration. Route 156 between Prunedale west to Castroville was realigned onto the modern two-lane expressway circa 1944. The realignment of Route 156 between Castroville and Prunedale was built in conjunction with a realignment of Route 1 through Castroville. Route 156 subsequently met Route 1 at western terminus along Salinas Street at Merritt Street.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog: "California State Route 156")

    LRN 22 used Blackie Road in Prunedale from US 101 to reach LRN 118 (modern Route 183) on Merritt Street in Castroville. This is alignment is shown on the 1935 California Divisions of Highway Map of Monterey County. It doesn't appear Blackie Road was part of Route 156 when it was signed over LRN 22 in 1964 but the state highway map doesn't provide enough detail to be certain.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog: "California State Route 156")

    Status Status

    US 101 to Hollister (Northern Business Route Terminus)

    Route 156 Widening - US 101 to Hollister (SBT 3.0 to R8.2)

    In his 2006 Strategic Growth Plan, Governor Schwartzenegger proposed converting two major conventional roadway segments to four-lane expressway. Projects have major safety and mobility benefits for travel from the Bay Area to the Monterey Peninsula and from the Central Valley to US 101.

    2007 CMIA. Two projects on Route 156 in Monterey County were submitted to the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account for funding. These projects were a 4 lane expressway, Alameda to Union-Mitchell ($37,987K requested) and the Route 156 Corridor west phase 1 ($166,700K requested) . Neither was recommended for funding.

    In November 2007, the CTC reviewed a draft EIR for a project to construct roadway improvements that include widening, from two lanes to four lanes, a portion of Route 156 near Hollister. The project is not fully funded. The project is programmed in the 2006 State Transportation Improvement Program for project development and right-of-way for $22,203,000. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $78,300,000, capital and support. This project should be ready for construction in Fiscal Year 2009-10, depending on the availability of funds. The alternatives are basically (a) whether the roadway is divided or conventional, and (b) whether there are frontage roads, and on which sides of the highway. The project would be between The Alameda (PM 3.0) and San Juan Road (PM 8.2).

    [Hollister]In December 2008, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that would widen the existing two-lane conventional highway to a four-lane expressway from The Alameda (PM 3.0) in San Juan Bautista to 0.2 mile east of Fourth Street/Business Route 156 (PM R8.2). The project is fully funded in the 2008 State Transportation Improvement Program with Regional Improvement Program , Interregional Improvement Program, local, and federal funds. The estimated cost of the project is $69,611,000, capital and support, and is estimated to begin construction in Fiscal Year 2012-13. Issues with the construction, permanently removing farmlands and the public controversy associated with the project resulted in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) being completed for this project. Upon completion of the EIR, impacts related to farmlands are anticipated to be significant and unmitigable. As a result, a Statement of Overriding Consideration was adopted.

    In October 2011, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project to widen Route 156 from a two-lane conventional highway to a four-lane expressway on new alignment from the Alameda in San Juan Bautista to just east of Fourth Street. The project is programmed in the 2010 State Transportation Improvement Program and includes local funds. Total estimated project cost is $69,961,000 for capital and support. The scope as described for the preferred alternative is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2010 State Transportation Improvement Program. A copy of the FEIR has been provided to Commission staff. Resources that may be impacted by the project include; noise, biological resources, hydrology and floodplains, and farmlands. Potential impacts associated with the project can all be mitigated to below significance through proposed mitigation measures with the exception of farmlands. The proposed improvements, with all recommended mitigation measures, would still have significant adverse impacts to farmlands in San Benito County with 127 acres of prime farmland being converted to non-agricultural purposes. As a result, a Final Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the project.

    In December 2011, it was reported that the Monterey County Transportation Agency is considering funding the new alignment via toll lanes. The plan would be to charge drivers up to $2 to use the new lanes, with the price varying by time of day and traffic conditions. The money would be used to help pay for a project that could cost more than $106 million, of which only $13 million is in hand -- the impact of Monterey County's failure to get two-thirds support for a sales tax increase a few years ago. If the plan moves ahead, construction could start in 2016. If not, it may be 15 to 20 years before a bypass is built. The current route would be turned into a frontage road, one that could be used by residents so they would not have to pay a toll.

    In November 2016, it was reported that there are plans to turn Route 156 into a four-lane expressway in and near San Juan Bautista to Hollister. Construction on the $44.6 million job should start in 2019 and take two years.
    (Source: Mercury News, 11/3/2016)

    The 2018 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2018 meeting, appears to adjust construction funding from $9.639M to $14.7M in FY19-20. The project, PPNO 0297, is in San Juan Bautista, from The Alameda to 0.2 mile east of Fourth Street. Widen to 4 lanes.

    The 2020 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2020 meeting, continues programmed funding of $14,700K for PPNO 0297 "4-lane expressway, San Juan Bautista (RIP)". It also included PPNO 0297, 4-lane expressway, San Juan Bautista (IIP), in the Interregional portion of the STIP with no change in programming: $81,554K in prior year funding.
    (Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

    In November 2020, it was reported that the San Benito Route 156 Improvement Project will be a five-mile, 4-lane expressway between The Alameda in San Juan Bautista to the Business Route 156 on Route 156 near Hollister. The cost of the project will be about $108 million, which is roughly $30 million less than a previous estimated price tag.  The official construction contract is split up into two phases: utility relocation and road work. Caltrans won’t break ground until December 2021 but commuters will start seeing construction work at Union and Mitchell roads beginning in April or May 2021. It will be a two-year construction timeline with work finalizing in December 2023 until March 2024. All of the work is going to be on a new alignment and the existing highway will still be functional as a frontage road for farm equipment and local traffic. To start the project, on Oct. 27, 2020, Caltrans released the “Ready to List”, which is the first step to sending a packet out for the advertisement period to look for construction contractors to review, pick up plans and submit a bid. The history: In 2012, a California Environmental Quality Act document was the subject of a lawsuit, causing a delay. Caltrans had to go through the court process to settle things. Then four years later, the California Transportation Commission at the time didn’t have the funding when Caltrans was ready for construction, which delayed the project for two more years. For the last several years the delay has really been related to property acquisition and utility agreements. This is because they have to come to an agreement to relocate a variety of different utilities such as San Benito Water District, PG&E, AT&T, Charter and Comcast. There are a variety of reasons they discuss including fires, mergers with companies, layoffs and utilities. Most of the accusations are complete and two of them in the imminent domain process. The utility companies have quite a bit of work to do because there’s gas transmission, gas distribution and electrical transmission that are pretty long runs because they’re adjacent to the highway.
    (Source: San Benito.Com, 11/3/2020)

    In December 2020, the CTC approved the following allocation for State Administered STIP Projects on the State Highway System: $60,010,000 (RIP/19-20 $15,104,000 Const + IIP/19-20 $11,000,000 Const Sup / $33,906,000 Const) for 05-SBt-156 PM 3.0/R8.2. PPNO 05-0297 ProjID 0500000505 EA 34490. San Benito Route 156 Improvement Project. Route 156 In San Juan Bautista, from The Alameda to 0.2 mile east of Fourth Street. Widen to 4 lanes.(CEQA - EIR, 08/15/2011; Re-validation 01/10/2020) (NEPA - FONSI, 08/15/2011; Re-validation 01/10/2020) (Right of Way Certification: 10/26/2020) (Future consideration of funding approved under Resolution E-11-76: October 2011)
    (Source: December 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5c.(1) #1)

    In June 2021, the CTC approved the following SB1/LPP allocation: $2,500,000. 05-SBt-156 3.0/R8.2. PPNO 05-0297; ProjID 0500000505; EA 34490. San Benito Route 156 Improvement Project. Route 156 In San Juan Bautista, from The Alameda to 0.2 mile east of Fourth Street. Widen to 4 lanes. (Future consideration of funding approved under Resolution E-11-76; October 2011.) This allocation of $2,500,000 in LPP-Formulaic funds will be used to reduce  the local funds to $7,139,000  for the STIP project approved in December 2020 under Resolution FP-20-35 . (Concurrent LPP-F Programming Amendment under Resolution LPP-P-2021-15; June 2021) (The Department requests non-proportional spending) Allocation: CONST $2,500,000.
    (Source: June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5s.(1) #1)

    Also in June 2021, the CTC approved a request from the Council of San Benito County Governments to add the following to their 2019 LLP-Formulaic fund allocation. The State Route 156 Improvement Project and program $2,500,000 to construction in Fiscal Year 2020-21. This project will convert five miles of a two-lane conventional highway into a four-lane at-grade expressway from The Alameda in San Juan Bautista to Business Route 156 near Hollister. The anticipated benefits of this project include improving route continuity, reducing congestion, and increasing safety.
    (Source: June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 4.16)

    In December 2021, there was an update on the status of this project: A $60 million plan to construct a four-lane expressway on Highway 156 from San Juan Bautista to Hollister is the largest of the current projects. Construction was originally estimated to begin in the summer of 2021, but preparatory work is still being done in the area. Drabinski said work by PG&E to relocate utilities in advance of the project should conclude by the end of this month. Details for prospective bidders will be announced in January with work to commence when the job is awarded.
    (Source: BenitoLink, 12/8/2021)

    In May 2022, the CTC approved a request for an additional $14,732,000 in Construction Capital for the STIP Roadway Widening project on Route 156, in San Benito County (05-SBt-156 3.0/R8.2. PPNO 05-0297; ProjID 0500000505; EA 34490), to award the construction contract. This project is located on Route 156 in the City of San Juan Bautista and Hollister, from The Alameda to east of Fourth Street, in San Benito County.  The project will convert the two-lane conventional highway into a four-lane expressway. In April 2018, the project was programmed for $47,700,000 in Construction Capital in the STIP, $33,000,000 from the Interregional Improvement Program (IIP) and $14,700,000 from the Regional Improvement Program (RIP), for allocation in Fiscal Year 2019-20.  In June 2020, the project received a 20-month allocation time extension for construction.  In December 2020, the project was allocated for $49,010,000 in Construction Capital in the STIP, $33,906,000 from the IIP and $15,104,000 from the RIP. In June 2021, the project was allocated for $2,500,000 in Construction Capital in the Local Partnership Program.  The total allocated amount is $51,510,000 in Construction Capital.  In January 2022, the project received a nine-month award  time extension for the STIP funds.  Bids were opened in March 2022, and the amount required to award to the lowest bidder exceeded the amount available from project allocated funds.  In January 2022, the Department advertised the contract and held bid opening in March 2022. The contract received six bids, of which, the lowest bid was 30.3 percent above the Engineer’s Estimate (EE).  The five remaining bids ranged in costs form 30.6 percent to 44.7 percent over the EE.  The EE was based on historical unit prices at the time it was completed in December 2021.  The Department anticipated that the recent COVID-19 pandemic and volatile supply chain pricing may result in a higher bid, but the full extent of price difference between the EE’s unit prices and the low bidder’s unit prices was not anticipated.
    (Source: May 2022 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5e.(6))

    In 1997, a bypass was opened from a point west of town near Union Road to the intersection of Route 156 and San Felipe Road angling bypassing the city of Hollister (~ SBT R7.811 to SBT R13.245). This is a two-lane bypass built to expressway standards. The old routing through town is still signed as Route 156 and Route 25 for some of it. There are plans to widen this to four lanes; the EIR was completed in September 2002, per CTC September 2002 Agenda.

    In August 2010, the CTC approved relinquishment of right of way in the city of Hollister on Route 156U (San Juan Road, Business Route 156), being the city’s portion of the San Benito River Bridge (SBT R008.45), consisting of superseded highway right of way.

    In February 2010, the CTC approved relinquishment of right of way in the county of San Benito along Route 156U at the San Benito River Bridge (SBT R008.45) , consisting of superseded highway right of way, and along Route 156 at Buena Vista Road, consisting of collateral facilities.

    Constructed to freeway standards from US 101 near San Juan Bautista to San Juan Road.

    Route 25 / Route 156 Roundabout (~ SBT R11.256)

    Rte 25 / Rte 156 RoundaboutIn August 2018, it was reported that Caltrans plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156, scheduled for completion in August 2021. It will eventually get replaced by an interchange when the Route 25 expansion project moves forward at an undetermined time. The roundabout project with a $7.7 million construction cost, to go with $3 million in “support costs”, will be funded by the state as a safety improvement project through the State Highway Operations and Protection Program, or SHOPP. The project remains in initial planning stages. There is “concept layout” and it is heading into the design and then construction phases, said roundabout Project Manager Brandy Rider. Plans presented to the local COG board in recent months show Caltrans will be ready to list the roundabout project for bidding in late August 2020, and it is set for a target end construction date at the end of October 2021. The roundabout is separate, however, from the Route 25 expansion. The timing and financing of that will depend on whether San Benito County taxpayers approve a 30-year, 1 percent sales tax on the November ballot. Under long-term Route 25 expansion plans, the roundabout would be replaced by an interchange. That replacement would happen many years down the road, and Rider said it could be 15 years or so until such a change might occur. While Caltrans is paying for the roundabout, the state has made it clear local taxpayers would have to cover the majority of the expansion funding, which would come from the ballot measure if approved. The nearly $300 million expansion would result in a four-lane, 11.2-mile commuter highway from Hollister to Santa Clara County.
    (Source: San Benito Live, 8/15/2018)

    In August 2018, the CTC amended the SHOPP to add the following project: 05-SBt-25 54.0 PPNO 2746, Project 0517000185, EA 1J480. Route 25 Near Hollister, at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156. Improve safety by constructing a roundabout. Est. cost: $10,628,000. Est. construction start: 10/28/2021.
    (Source: August 2018 CTC Agenda Item 2.1a.(1))

    In June 2019, it was reported that Caltrans District 5 will hold a public information meeting/open house about a proposed safety roundabout project for the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156.
    (Source: BenitoLink, 6/20/2019)

    In December 2019, it was reported that the roundabout planned for the Route 25/Route 156 intersection at Hollister’s north end is moving forward and is on schedule. According to Caltrans, the project is fully funded, its environmental review is completed and final designs and right-of-way acquisitions are scheduled for August 2020. The $10.7 million project aims to make the busy intersection safer. Roundabouts are increasingly common in new residential developments, as a substitute for four-way stops. The state has begun using them at busy traffic-signaled intersections that have had high accident rates. New, successful roundabout projects in Tracy and Palmdale match Hollister’s traffic patterns, according to the state. The plan is a short-term fix, however, as the state’s long-term vision is to realign and widen Route 25 to four lanes and build an interchange at its connection to Route 156. No date or funding has been set for that new highway replacement for the jammed two-lane commuter route that Route 25 has become. The proposal to place an interchange at this location will not be finalized, under best case scenarios, until 2028, according to Caltrans. Construction on the roundabout could start as early as the summer of 2021 with a winter 2021 completion date. The roundabout is a 2-lane design, and state planners said it will be able to handle big rigs.
    (Source: San Benito.Com, 12/20/2019)

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision Reduction item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 05-San Benito-25 PM 54.0 PPNO 2746 Proj ID 0517000185 EA 1J480. Route 25 Near Hollister, at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156. Improve safety by constructing a roundabout. Programmed in FY20-21, with construction scheduled to start in June 2021. Total project cost is $10,628K, with $7,663K being capital (const and right of way) and $2,965K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    In August 2021, the CTC approved the following SHOPP amendment: 05-SBt-25 54.0 53.7/54.03 PPNO 05-2746; ProjID 0517000185; EA 1J480. Route 25 Near Hollister, at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156.  Improve safety by constructing a roundabout. (Concurrent CONST and CON ENG allocation under Resolution FP-21-12; August 2021.) Note: Split off environmental mitigation project EA 1J481/PPNO 05-2746Y for landscape and monitoring work from parent project EA 1J480/PPNO 05-2746. Updated financials: ($ × 1,000): Const Cap $7,659 ⇒ $6,559; Total $10,628 ⇒ $9,528.
    (Source: August 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1a.(1d) #5)

    Also in August 2021, the CTC approved an allocation request for $12,022,000 for the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) Safety Improvements project, on Route 25 in San Benito County, to advertise the project. This request exceeds the programmed amount by over 20%. This project is located on Route 25 near Hollister, at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156, in San Benito County. The signalized intersection of Route 25 and Route 156 in San Benito County is experiencing a pattern of broadside and rear end collisions, due to a recurrence of red light runs. The purpose of this project is to improve the intersection of Route 25/Route 156 by reducing the number and severity of collisions.  The project proposes to construct a roundabout at this intersection with key features that include replacing the intersection with a multi-lane roundabout which will minimize excessive queuing and delay.  The roundabout will operate under capacity, have adequate queue storage, and be adequately sized to handle a truck tractor-semitrailer. This project was originally programmed in 2018 for $7,659,000 in construction capital and $1,455,000 in construction support with construction in Fiscal Year 2020-21.  The project also includes landscape mitigation and plant establishment elements.  A SHOPP Technical Amendment is being requested concurrently, with this allocation request, at the August 2021 Commission meeting to move the landscape mitigation and plant establishment work to a child project (EA 05-1J481/PPNO 2746Y) for delivery in 2023-24, due to the three-year establishment period. The child landscape project’s construction capital and support will be funded with $1,100,000 from the parent project’s construction capital. The updated Engineer’s Estimate (EE) includes State furnished materials, mobilization, and contingency for construction capital of $9,857,000; which is 50.3 percent over the $6,559,000 remaining programmed amount after moving the landscape mitigation and plant establishment elements.  The updated construction support estimate is $2,165,000; which is 48.8 percent over the programmed amount.  The project has an approved time extension for allocation through August 2021.  Pending the approval of this request, the Department plans to advertise the project contract in September 2021 and begin construction in February 2022.  Construction is planned for two seasons with 210 working days and completion by January 2023.
    (Source: August 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5d.(3))

    The Department received extensive public input on this project regarding truck movements and sought a peer review from an external roundabout consultant.  The peer review was conducted in September 2020 and the findings centered on the design of the multi-lane roundabout and how to best serve the high truck volumes. Based on the public comments received, the design configuration was revised to reflect an innovative turbo roundabout layout with raised lane dividers, to better mitigate the potential for low-speed merging conflicts due to the acute intersection angle of Route 25 and Route 156. Due to the restrictions associated with the new turbo configuration and raised lane dividers, overhead sign structures are needed on each of the four entries to aid drivers in selecting the appropriate lane pertaining to their desired destination.  This is a departure from the standard wood-post signage originally called out for in the project.  Also, the diameter of the circulatory roadway needs to be enlarged by 30 percent and the structural section increased to adequately accommodate the volume of large vehicles which regularly traverse the intersection. According to a Caltrans spokesperson, the roundabout planned at that intersection will be the first of its kind in California. The design known as a turbo roundabout is 240 feet in diameter, includes raised dividers to keep motorists from changing lanes, and uses overhead and road markings for navigation. Construction is expected to begin in January, pending weather conditions. The overhead lane markings will note which lane leads to either Route 25 or Route 156, will be placed about 350 feet from the roundabout. The intersection became a high priority for Caltrans because it has almost double the average rate of collisions. According to Caltrans, there were 126 collisions between 2009 and 2018 with two fatalities. Caltrans will be working on an easy-to-understand design they intend to present at public hearings in the future. This is because the engineer’s design may be difficult for the public to understand as it contains a lot more information than just the drawings of the lanes. The roundabout design is similar to one being constructed in Jacksonville, Florida. The turbo roundabout was recently invented in the Netherlands. Its key feature is that it prevents drivers from changing lanes, thus reducing rates of roundabout collisions. Caltrans did not have to deal with property acquisition for this project as it stayed within the existing right-of-way. Additionally, the overpass that is planned at that intersection as part of the Route 25 widening project will not be constructed over the roundabout. Instead, Caltrans is working on designs that may incorporate aspects of the roundabout to the overpass, which would save money along the way.
    (Source: August 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5d.(3); BenitoLink, 8/30/2021)

    The latest Engineering Estimate for the cost reflects the current unit prices for projects going out to bid in the region and shows the increase of $3,298,000.  The increase is primarily driven by the increase in hot mix asphalt (11,000 tons to 19,500 tons), four overhead sign structures, additional temporary traffic controls, and additional roadway excavation.  In addition, the original roundabout design included a center island with planting and a one- year plant establishment to be included with the road project.  During final reviews, Department maintenance staff requested that all planting be eliminated from the center island, due to safety concerns and the long-term maintenance of vegetation within the center island.  The design changes due to the removal of the center island planting resulted in the need to re-evaluate the Visual Impact Analysis.  The re-evaluation recommended landscaping be placed outside the roundabout to mitigate for additional signs structures and the lighting features as required by the new design. This resulted in the need for a split off landscape project to accommodate the new planting plan and a three-year plant establishment period at a cost of $1,100,000. A construction support cost increase of 48.8 percent is also needed due to an increase of working days, from 130 to 210, and the complicated turbo roundabout design staging needed during construction. Additionally, on-going coordination with the local community identified the need for greater outreach to the community and a public awareness campaign during construction.
    (Source: August 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5d.(3))

    In December 2021, there was an update on the status of this project: The roundabout is planned for the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156, north of Hollister. Bidding was opened on Oct. 27 with the contract for the $10.7 million project awarded to GraniteRock Construction, according to Caltrans Public Information Officer Kevin Drabinski. Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2022.
    (Source: BenitoLink, 12/8/2021)

    In May 2022, construction began on Route 25/Route 156 roundabout. The initial phase of construction will result in lane closures on the approach to the north Hollister intersection, from westbound Route 156 and southbound Route 25. The project is expected to be completed in April 2023. The roundabout is planned as an interim solution. An interchange at Route 25/Route 156 is the long-range improvement planned as part of the larger Route 25 Expressway Conversion Project. The Measure G-funded project to widen Route 25 (to be completed over the coming years) will also include a permanent interchange at this intersection. The roundabout is a critical safety project designed to hasten the reduction of the number and severity of collisions at this intersection. The Caltrans State Highway Operation and Protection Program, which funds safety projects, identified the need to address immediate safety at this location. In the interim, Caltrans is addressing this safety need until the long-range plan for an interchange can be implemented. Although the proposed roundabout is located at the junction of two high-speed rural routes, the roundabout design will emphasize speed control. Design features will control the speed at which vehicles enter, navigate, and exit the roundabout. Lower vehicle speeds provide more time for entering drivers to judge, adjust speed for, and enter a gap in circulating traffic, allowing for safer merges while reducing the frequency and severity of collisions. The roundabout is a two-lane design and anticipates truck volumes for the intersection today and into the future. In accommodating the sweep of truck trailer wheels, a mountable truck apron is featured around the inside of the roundabout.
    (Source: San Benito County on FB, 5/31/2022)

    Hollister (Northern Business Route Terminus) to Route 152

    Route 152 / Route 156 Interchange

    The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures on or near this route:

    • High Priority Project #1759: Improvements to the Route 152/Route 156 Intersection. $800,000. (~ SCL 0.475)
    • High Priority Project #1793: Reconfigure intersection at Route 152 and Route 156 in Santa Clara County. $11,120,000. (~ SCL 0.475)

    According to vta.org, there are currently plans to build a flyover ramp intersection with Route 152. Estimated completion date is 2008. It opened for public traffic in late January 2009.

    Naming Naming

    CAL-FIRE Firefighter Matt Will Memorial HighwayThe 5-mile portion of Route 156 from US 101 to Route 25 (~ SBT 0.055 to SBT R11.322)is named the "CAL-FIRE Firefighter Matt Will Memorial Highway". This segment was named in memory of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) Heavy Fire Equipment Operator (HFEO) Fire Captain Matt Will, who passed away in the line of duty on October 9, 2007, at the age of 30, while battling a fire in Monterey County. Matt Will was born in El Cajon, California on March 13, 1977, and was raised in Campo, California. He attended elementary through high school in Campo where he participated in many sports including football, baseball, and wrestling. He enjoyed many outdoor activities, such as camping, fishing, hunting, and off-roading. After graduating from high school, Matt Will helped run his family business where he became proficient at operating heavy equipment. HFEO Gary Will, father of Matt Will, is employed by CAL-FIRE. Matt Will followed in his father's footsteps as he pursued the career of his dreams as a HFEO by applying his passions for heavy equipment and firefighting. He was always charismatic and caring, and his drive and motivation were displayed daily. Matt Will's leadership skills carried him to reach his goals and to encourage others to reach theirs. Matt Will was extremely knowledgeable, with abundant experience and excellent judgment that enabled him to be on the fireline operating alone. On October 8, 2007, HFEO Matt Will tried to get another bulldozer out of a precarious situation, placing Matt Will in a very dangerous location. The ground of the steep terrain gave way causing Matt Will's bulldozer to roll 154 feet down a steep drainage, in which Matt Will sustained injuries. On October 9, Matt Will succumbed to those injuries. Named by Assembly Concurrant Resolution (ACR) 106, 6/17/2010, Resolution Chapter 38.
    (Image sources: Wild Land Firefighting Always Remember, National Fallen Firefighters Assn)

    Named Structures Named Structures

    Bridge 43-0044, the San Benito River Bridge, in San Benito County (SBT R008.45) is named the "Ed Hanna Memorial Bridge". It was named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 22, Chapter 65 in 1997. Ed Hanna was a long time San Benito County employee, having worked in the 1940's as county surveyor and later as County Engineer and Road Commissioner.

    Joseph A. Zanger Sr.The flyover ramp at the interchange of Route 152 and Route 156 is named the "Joseph A. Zanger Memorial Flyover" (~ SCL 0.475). This segment was named in honor of Joseph A. Zanger, who was born on December 28, 1927, in San Jose, California. After attending college, Joseph moved to the Pacheco Pass area to help manage his family's orchard operations. In 1943, the Zanger family founded Casa de Fruta to complement its farming business. The Casa de Fruta business started with a small cherry stand built in 1943 and grew to include a large fruit stand, a restaurant, a park for recreational vehicles, a lodge, wine tasting, a gift shop, a barnyard zoo, a candy store, a service station, and a dried fruit mail order business. Joseph studied safety and economic issues related to the transportation system of central California and served as an advocate for the improvement of transportation in that area. In 1978, Joseph served on the planning committee for the I-5 project from Stockton to Santa Nella/Route 152. In 2005, Joseph also worked to establish a new route from Route 152/Route 156 to US 101. Joseph's advocacy for safety and transportation improvements has affected thousands of motorists. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 85, Resolution Chapter 67, on 8/4/2010.
    (Image source: Gilroy Dispatch)

    Business Routes Business Routes

    The old routing through the city of Hollister is signed as Business Route 156.

    National Trails National Trails

    De Anza Auto Route This route is part of the De Anza National Historic Trail.


Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

Scenic Route Scenic Route

[SHC 263.1] Entire route.

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.17] Between Route 1 and Route 152.

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 156:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1933, Chapter 767 defined the route from "[LRN 60] near Topanga Beach to Montalvo-San Fernando Road near Chatsworth" as a state highway. In 1935, this route was added to the highway code as LRN 156, with the definition:

"[LRN 60] near Topanga Beach to [LRN 9] near Chatsworth"

In 1959, Chapter 1062 clarified the definition to be: "[LRN 60] near Topanga Beach but north of the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and [LRN 60] to [LRN 9] at or near Chatsworth"

This is present-day Route 27 (Topanga Canyon). At one time, it was proposed for the Reseda Freeway.


Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 155 Forward Arrow Route 157

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Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <webmaster@cahighways.org>.