Central Coast Rep. Lois Capps beamed at a crowd of gleeful bicyclists and local officials who gathered to celebrate federal dollars that will help connect the northern and southern sections of Morro Bay.
- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
If all goes as planned, bicyclists and pedestrians will have a contiguous pathway between Morro Bay and Cayucos and, in the long run, a pathway spanning the California coast.
But in the more immediate future, the city is pushing forward with a bridge over Morro Creek. Currently, bicyclists and pedestrians don’t have a direct connection over the creek and, in fact, bicyclists have even laid wooden planks over the gap in the past.
However, with $220,000 in federal matching funds, officials from Morro Bay and the San Luis Obispo County Council of Governments (SLOCOG) have a plan to bridge that gap.
On a sunny Aug. 7 day overlooking the Morro Bay Estuary, a crowd gathered for a Capps-led press conference, ironically blocking the very path officials were praising, which currently lines the water.
“I didn’t realize we were going to have a party over this,” Capps said from behind a makeshift podium. “But why not? There’s a lot to celebrate.”
She was joined by a handful of representatives, including outgoing Morro Bay Mayor Bill Yates and outgoing Councilwoman Carla Borchard as well as representatives from SLOCOG and San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Dan Rivoire.
“This is the type of project that really gets our community fired up,” Rivoire said.
Once complete, the bridge will also provide a much-needed emergency access path, Capps said. The project also includes spaces for education areas and public beach access. The bikeway utilizes $528,000 in state funds and $182,000 in city matching funds.
Other projects are in the works to continue the path north to Cayucos, according to SLOCOG Executive Director Ronald De Carli.