In what could be a significant addition to the county’s recreation network, the county Parks Department has proposed building a bike path that would connect Morro Bay and Cayucos. Funding for the project is uncertain, however.
The project calls for two and a half miles of bike and pedestrian paths from Cloisters Park in Morro Bay to the site of the planned Norma Rose Park in Cayucos. It would consist of existing roads within Morro Bay and Cayucos as well as a new path solely for cyclists and hikers that would connect the two communities, running from Yerba Buena Street in Morro Bay to Studio Drive in Cayucos.
Parks planners recently released an environmental review of the project. County supervisors have scheduled a hearing Oct. 19 to certify the document.
Parks planner Elizabeth Kavanaugh said the county will pursue state and federal grants to pay for the path. No price tag has yet been put on the project.
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“If we continue to get a stream of grants, it could be three to four years before we begin construction,” she said. “But that’s a big if.”
The Parks Department also plans to obtain federal certification of the project in order to make it eligible for federal money. Once funding is secured, construction is expected to take a year.
Funding is not the only undecided aspect of the project. The exact route of the path is also uncertain, Kavanaugh said.
The preferred route is on the west side of Highway 1 and then across the highway at Old Creek Road for the final leg to Norma Rose Park. Routes east of the highway are also possible. Exact trail alignment would be determined at a future hearing.
Because the path would be along existing roadways, environmental impacts are minimal, Kavanaugh said. Only two significant ones were identified.
One is aesthetics due to barriers that would have to be installed on some parts of the path to separate it from the highway. The other is the inevitable erosion of coastal bluffs that could eventually encroach on the pathway.