The expansion of Highway 156 has been delayed by several months due to ongoing negotiations over land purchases from property owners, the Council of San Benito County Governments announced.
According to the announcement, the construction is now planned to start in November 2020 if all goes as planned between now and then.
The construction had been scheduled to start in the late summer of next year but was moved to November. The COG announcement indicated that 90 percent of right-of-way contracts are completed, but there are three large parcels with ongoing negotiations.
COG had hoped to finish the acquisition phase in October 2019, but that date has been moved to February 2020.
The announcement noted that utility agreements with PG&E, AT&T and the San Benito County Water District are under way and expected to be finished in February. Permits, meanwhile, are 100 percent finished, and mitigation measures related to agriculture and the California tiger salamander remain on track.
The $105.9 million project is fully funded through traffic impact fees along with local and state funding, and the interregional improvement program.
If construction starts in November 2020, it is expected to last about two years and be finished in December 2022 when the road would open to the public.