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To protect the health, safety and welfare of the public by providing essential services for daily life.

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News & Events

  • Check out our new Facebook page. This page has the most up-to-date information posted.
  • Ongoing - Aptos Village Improvement Plan Information Blog
  • Ongoing - Twin Lakes Beachfront Improvement Project Resources
    Meeting Presentation - Information Blog
  • If you need information regarding Highway 9 or Highway 17, please contact Caltrans at their contact for the Santa Cruz County area at (805) 549-3138. Caltrans:  
  • 2017- Storm Season Sand/Bags Locations
  • 2/21/17 - Monday, February 20th, the County of Santa Cruz was hit with yet another severe storm that included strong winds. Monday evening the County and PG&E were put on a Safety Stand Down, meaning it was too dangerous to continue work in certain areas of our County. Public Works is aware that many people count on the Road Closure list that we do our best to maintain in real time. However, due to the Stand Down and the huge amount of calls our Road Closure is not up-to-date. As crews work today the list will be updated. Health and safety is always a priority, there are many roads where people are now landlocked and it is these roads that do have a priority for re-opening but please remember the County has to wait for PG&E to first clear their lines. Our County has been bombarded with one storm after another since December, not really giving us many days of relief; we are experiencing a disaster that we haven’t seen for 30 plus years. Please be patient.
  • 1/31/17 -  NELSON ROAD Residents might be seeing workers preparing the site for the temporary bridge on Nelson Road. There is a lot of work that needs to happen before the temporary bridge is placed and the actual placement will take coordinating with utilities. Best case scenario the bridge will be in place and ready to access by residents in two weeks. If the upcoming storms that are predicted this Thursday through Tuesday create additional issues then this date will probably be pushed out to three weeks. When using the alternative by-pass route, Mission Springs, please slow down and make sure to obey the traffic signal in place. Thank you everyone for your patience.
  • 1/25/17 - Upper Zayante Road Update: Public Works had a Geologist inspect the slide located at Upper Zayante Road. According to the geologist, part of the roadbed has given way. This means that we are unable to go clear the slide and open the road because it has been deemed unsafe. The Engineering Department is now working to determine the best approach to repair the damaged roadway. We currently do not have an ETA for this road to be repaired.
  • 1/24/17 - NELSON ROAD UPDATE: Nelson Rd hours through Mission Springs Conference Center is now 6:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m. Please note that Public Works is working on a temporary solution to bridge the area of the washout as soon as possible.
  • 1/23/17 - VALENCIA ROAD CLOSURE The Department of Public Works announced the closing of Valencia Road between Trout Gulch Road and Aptos School Road for at least two weeks due to an unstable culvert and uncertain road conditions. An alternate route using Freedom Boulevard has been established (see attached PDF map) to provide access to residents and students at Valencia School, which will remain open. Parents of students are urged to carpool and allow extra time for drop-off and pick up during school hours. “We have seen the road drop approximately 12 inches over the past week and cracks are starting to open up along the edges of the road,” stated Assistant Director of Public Works, Steve Wiesner. “We need to assess the safety of this road as winter weather continues to impact the area.” In addition to the high volume of water, mud and soil saturation destabilizing the culvert and road base, underground utilities and a steep ravine contribute to the concerns of Public Works engineers about this section of roadway.  
    “We are looking out for the safety of our citizens by proactively limiting travel on this section of road,” continued Wiesner. During the next few days of dry weather the County will be setting up an investigation team to assess the integrity of the road fill and the potential hazards of continued use.
    Residents should prepare themselves by limiting travel in this area as much as possible and using the alternative travel route. Updated road information is also available at: and citizens can report problems by calling (831) 454-2160 or using the Citizen Connect app at
  • 1/23/17 - ROAD DELAYS AT WESTBOUND SOQUEL DRIVE John Presleigh, Director of Public Works, County of Santa Cruz, has announced that Westbound Soquel Drive at Cotton Lane will be subject to traffic delays with potential lane closures between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Wednesday, January 25, 2017, through Friday February 24, 2017, weather permitting. These delays and potential lane closures are necessary for road construction. The Department of Public Works would like the motoring public to avoid this area if possible or be prepared for delays of up to twenty minutes.  For up-to-date information on county maintained roads in Santa Cruz County, please visit http://www.sccroadclosure.   
  • 1/22/17 - UPDATE: NELSON ROAD AT PM 0.4 IS CLOSED Public Works is coordinating usage of the Mission Springs Conference Center road that will take residents from Nelson Road to Lockhart Gulch Road. There will be traffic control for this area starting Monday, January 23rd at 7:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. This way out of Nelson Road will remain open during these hours Monday through Sunday. Please note that this way will only be open during the hours of 7:00 a.m through 5:30 p.m. There will be no access outside these hours.
  • 1/19/17 - UPDATE: BEAR CREEK ROAD To the San Lorenzo residents of Bear Creek Road and commuters that use Bear Creek Road please note that the County of Santa Cruz Public Works has opened Bear Creek Road. There are NO restrictions on Bear Creek Road and residents and commuters alike can use the road. The section of road where the slip out occurred and the road is down to one lane is safe for cars and will not be undermined by vehicles using this stretch of roadway. Public Works asks all drivers to use caution when driving and to please obey the stop signs at this location. Public Works is also working hard to make sure that the permanent repairs that Bear Creek needs, happen as soon as possible. If you experience people driving unsafely or not obeying traffic signs please call the Highway Patrol.
  • 1/1/17 - Learn about the New Rules for Restaurants located in Santa Cruz County effective January 1, 2017 English Version and Spanish Version / FAQ Sheet
  • 12/19/16 - The passing of Measure D will provide much needed assistance to the Public Works Department.  Measure D revenue will allow Public Works to focus on the health of our roads and other transportation projects that benefit our communities.  However, the County still needs to reinvest in our existing infrastructure and maintain the 600 miles of roadways, bridges, and culverts in the County maintained road system.

    Assembly Member Frazier and Senator Beall have created bills AB x1 26 and SB x1 1 to improve and reform transportation funding.  AB x1 26 and SB x1 1 would provide much-needed new statewide investment to maintain and improve County streets and roads, along with State highways.  These bills would also ensure that existing revenues meant for transportation projects are redirected back into transportation and would implement a number of reforms to improve project delivery while still protecting the environment.

    Without an immediate investment of new revenue into the system, our infrastructure will continue to decline, which only increases the financial burden on future taxpayers. If you would like to know more about these proposed bills, visit:
  • 12/15/16 - Winter 2016 Edition of County of Santa Cruz Curbsider
  • 12/8/16 - Congratulations to Public Works Director John Presleigh! He was officially sworn in as the current President of the County Engineers Association of California (CEAC) last week. CEAC was formed in 1914 and is comprised of county engineers, public works directors, county road commissioners, and professional personnel throughout California’s 58 counties. Its purpose is “To advance county engineering and management by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information aimed at improving service to the public.
     To learn more, visit
  • 12/7/16 - Public Works Resource Planner Tim Goncharoff meets with California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, State Parks Director Lisa Mangat and Heidi Sanborn of the California Product Stewardship Council to discuss the Refuel Your Fun campaign to replace the 4 million disposable propane canisters thrown away every year in California with reusable canisters.  Santa Cruz County is helping to lead the way in this effort!  View the picture of meeting
  • 12/7/16 - Earth Day 2017 vendor registration is now open!  Get the early bird rate of  $125.00 (for profit) until Jan 31. After Feb 1 the rate goes up to $150. The Nonprofit rate is $60.00 until Jan 31 and $80 after Feb 1.  Booth space goes fast so register today! Go to
  • 12/1/16 - Just after high tide on Thursday, December 1, Public Works maintenance crews excavated a channel through the beach sand to mechanically open the Pajaro River mouth in order to alleviate flooding conditions on Shell Road and West Beach Road near the Pajaro Dunes community. The work was undertaken with proper biological monitoring in place in order to protect sensitive species and habitat in accordance with permit conditions and best practice. Click Here to see a photo of this excavation
  • 11/3/16 - 2016 Outstanding Policy/Legislative Advancement Awarded by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) for the County’s Safe Drug and Sharps Disposal Ordinance. The presentation noted “Santa Cruz County’s ordinance set the standard for those that followed, and demonstrated the practicality of an Extended Producer Responsibility approach for the safe disposal of drug and sharps waste.  Last year alone Santa Cruz County collected more than 27,000 pounds of drugs and more than 10,000 pounds of sharps, dramatically improving health, safety and environmental protection for the citizens of Santa Cruz County and establishing a model that is being adopted, not just across California, but throughout the United States.” CalRecycle Award Ceremony Photo
  • 10/25/16 - The Santa Cruz County Flood Control and Water Conservation District – Zone 7 is planning work along the Salsipuedes Creek levee in Watsonville at two locations. Our contractor plans to commence work the week of October 31st – November 4th to repair two erosion sites and protect them from further scour. The actual start date depends on the weather. The work is planned between right bank stations 18+20 to 19+00 and between left bank stations 16+40 to 17+40. This area is by the stand of redwood trees within the creek channel near the intersection of Beck Street and Bridge Street. The work is planned to be completed by the end of November. Measures will be implemented to control construction related dust from impacting roadways. Location of proposed work
  • 10/25/16 - Redwood Road Bridge Replacement Meeting in Corralitos
  • 9/28/16 -  LED light bulbs are becoming increasingly popular, due to their long life and lower energy use.  LEDs use about 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and are even more efficient than fluorescents, without the toxic mercury that fluorescents contain.  But even LEDs don’t last forever and have to be disposed of eventually. 

    The good news is that used LEDs are accepted in the same recycling bins as fluorescent light bulbs.  Just drop them off at your nearest lighting or hardware store for proper recycling.  For a complete list of drop-off sites, go to:
  • 9/16/16 - Green Valley Road Bridge Scour Repair. The County of Santa Cruz is proposing to repair the existing scour beneath the southern abutment on the Green Valley Road Bridge over Green Valley Creek at post mile 4.1. The bridge is a single span concrete earth infill arch bridge with concrete cut off walls. During the winter storms of 2016, stream flow has undermined the southern abutment along with the concrete cut off walls compromising the stability of the bridge. The bridge is scheduled for full replacement in 2018 and is in the design phase now.
    Caltrans performs inspections on County maintained bridges and reports back to the County the conditions and any work that may be required. Bridges are given a sufficiency rating between 0 and 100 with 100 being a new bridge built up to current standards. Caltrans has given this bridge a sufficiency rating of 19.5 and considers the bridge to be structurally deficient. A rating below 50 makes the bridge eligible for Federal funds for replacement. The County has programmed the bridge into the Federal Highway Bridge Program (HBP) for replacement and has been using Federal funds to develop preliminary plans and environmental documents. Funds are obligated in the HBP program for right of way acquisitions and for construction.
    A recent inspection completed in July by Caltrans hydraulic branch has determined the bridge to be scour critical 2. “bridge is scour critical; field review indicates that extensive scour has occurred at bridge foundations, which are determined to be unstable by a comparison of calculated scour and observed scour during the bridge inspection.” The scour rating system rates bridges from 0-9, with a rating of 0 indicating the bridge has failed due to scour; a 9 rating is foundations on dry land above flood elevations. A rating of 2 indicates that the bridge is in critical condition, with any further degradation resulting in road closure.
    The repair will consist of creating a notch in the bottom of the cut off walls to allow flow to go underneath during low flow conditions. Once this is complete, the upstream concrete rubble area and scoured abutment area will be isolated from the main channel by visqueen and sand  bags or gravel berm. Forms shall be placed approximately 1 foot from the face of the abutment to seal off the undermined area. A concrete grout will then be pumped to fill the undermined areas and into the broken concrete upstream of the abutment. After the concrete has set the sand bags and visqueen shall be removed. The pipe will be left in place to act as a low flow channel for the creek.
    Status of Project.   
  • 3/23/16 - Transportation Funding Measure Support
  • 12/1/15 - ADA Access in the Public Right-of-Way Grievance Procedure
  • 3/17/16 - Fern Drive Bridge Replacement Project
  • Santa Cruz County Capital Improvement Program
  • 2014 - Pajaro River Bench Excavation Project
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Contact Public Works

701 Ocean Street, Room 410
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Monday - Friday 8:00 - 5:00
Closed for Lunch 12:00 - 1:00

Survey Counter is only open
Wednesdays 1:30 - 4:30

Holiday Schedule

Phone: (831) 454-2160
Fax: (831) 454-2385

Email Public Works

Road Operations
24 Hour Dispatch (831) 477-3999

Wastewater Operations
24 Hour Dispatch (831) 477-3907