Your drive through the Alisal just got a little more interesting, thanks to a statewide initiative

A semi-truck drives over an underpass in Salinas, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

A semi-truck drives over an underpass in Salinas, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Your drive through east Salinas will be vibrant and historical, thanks to a California highway beautification initiative.

Salinas was awarded $1.8 million to “beautify and improve” underpasses in the Alisal along Highway 101: Sanborn Road, East Alisal Street, and East Market Street, according to city officials.

“This is an amazing opportunity to make Salinas a destination for visitors and residents to experience our city’s history and culture in the Alisal through art,” Councilman Steve McShane said. “These efforts will bring life to the area with new landscaping and create safer spaces for our community enjoy.”

The funding is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $1.1 billion Clean California initiative. Caltrans awarded $312 million for 126 beautification projects along the state highway system, including 12 projects in the Central Coast.

Cars drive on an underpass in E. Alisal Street in Salinas, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Cars drive on an underpass in E. Alisal Street in Salinas, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

The Salinas project will include public art, landscaping enhancements and safety improvements.

“The Alisal is an important part of Salinas’ history and being able to share our community’s culture and traditions in this way is inspiring,” Councilman Tony Barrera said. “This is a meaningful investment in the Alisal and our city.”

The Clean California beautification projects are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of the multiyear initiative led by Caltrans to remove trash and beautify public areas along highways, streets and roads.

A majority — 98% — of the projects will benefit historically underserved or excluded communities.

The US 101/Alisal Vibrancy Project is scheduled to begin construction this fall with completion by June 30, 2023.

California Department of Transportation employees cut the weeds of a Highway 101 underpass in Salinas, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

California Department of Transportation employees cut the weeds of a Highway 101 underpass in Salinas, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Sheyanne Romero is a journalist for the USA TODAY Network and manages content for the Salinas Californian.

This article originally appeared on Salinas Californian: Salinas awarded $1.8 M for Alisal underpasses makeover

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