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Bob Jones Trail MapThe Bob Jones Trail is moving forward. The County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on May 9 to authorize budget adjustments of $317,672 from another project to the Bob Jones Pathway Project. The funding will be spent on construction document and right-of-way consulting services, including all of the engineering, surveying, and easement agreements needed to construct the pathway.

On March 23, 2017, the Parks and Recreation Commission reviewed the strategy for funding the Bob Jones Pathway construction documents and right-of-way consulting services and recommended that the Board of Supervisors allocate the additional funding. This was based on the consideration of any potential Octagon Barn site and Higuera left-turn lane construction cost savings (bids are scheduled to be opened in July 2017) and the availability of grant funding (potentially programmed in fall 2017).

Staff has additionally identified two grant funding sources committed to the Avila to Harford Pier pathway project that won’t be able to be used in a timely manner due to the inability to mitigate for parking impacts. These funds total approximately $317,672, which brings the total available funding to $1,092,672 (95%) of the estimated $1,155,000 needed to complete this phase of the project (see Table 1 below).

With this funding, the County can move forward and advertise a Request for Proposal (RFP) for these consulting services. Once the top ranked consulting firm is determined, there will be an opportunity to refine the scope of services and negotiate the costs prior to bringing the contact to the Board for approval.

The Bob Jones Pathway project will ultimately develop a 4.4-mile, multi-use bicycle / pedestrian path connecting the existing bikeway along South Higuera Street from the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County’s Octagon Barn south to the County’s Ontario Road Staging Area.

The project is expected to provide an alternative transportation corridor as well as an important recreation corridor for residents of and visitors to San Luis Obispo County. The project remains a top priority parks project for the County. The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and the County of San Luis Obispo have worked collaboratively for many years to develop various segments of the Bob Jones Pathway.

The County operates and maintains approximately 2.5 miles of the existing Bob Jones Pathway, extending from the County’s Ontario Road staging area westward to Avila Beach. The Land Conservancy has assisted the County by working with property owners, providing input on project design, and offering the Octagon Barn site as a trailhead and staging area for the pathway.

The Bob Jones Pathway project is currently in the final stages of the environmental study and review phase. Grant funding totaling $775,000 (SAFETEA-LU & NFWF grant funds- see table 3) is available to fund the construction documents and right-of-way consulting services, which is the next phase of the project. The engineer’s estimate for completing this phase of the project is $1,155,000 (see below table). An additional approximately $380,000 is needed in order to solicit requests for proposals for these consulting services.

 

Table 1

 

 

The following agencies have been involved with this project: The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo, as a partnering agency; the San Luis Obispo Counsel of Governments, as a funding agency; County Public Works; County Planning, as the authorizing department for use of the PG&E mitigation grant funding; and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation via the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, as the granting agency for Unocal mitigation grant funding.

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