Soledad completes road and school safety projects

SOLEDAD, Calif. – Two ribbon cuttings for two projects in Soledad, Wednesday. One, makes streets safer for our youngest students. The other, connects two sides of the growing city – and a future home of Hartnell College.

Renee Sitko was the crossing guard Wednesday at San Vicente Elementary – one of two schools on the busy street. She’s happy to see the new lighted crosswalk.

“It helps, because sometimes you get cars that don’t to stop. Hopefully the lights will make people stop better.”

The lights flash on the ground and on the sigh above – a clear warning to drivers.

There is also an off zig-zagging crosswalk, designed to make the person crossing the road pay attention.

The school district’s superintendent says there are about one thousand people going to and from San Vicente and Gabilan Elementary schools every day. He says these changes have been a long time coming.

“A lot of the trucks come down during the harvest times, and that’s always a concern,” Tim Vanoli, Superintendent of the Soledad Unified School District said.

There is also a new road connecting drivers to different parts of the city. Orchard Lane splits what used to be just a dirt field. At around will eventually become about 500 new homes. Part of a 1.2 million dollar project.

Soledad Mayor Fred Ledesma says “We’re one of the fastest growing communities in the county, as far as proportion-wise for our size. We’re excited because it’s bringing market rate housing which is greatly needed in south Monterey County.

What is dirt now will be a future satellite home of Hartnell College, with up to eight classrooms and a community room. Mayor Ledesma says ground should break in about six months.

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