Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG), along with the County and City of Merced, welcomed Caltrans Director Tony Tavares to Merced County on Aug. 31 when he toured several local transportation and housing projects in the region.
Director Tavares, District 10 Director Dennis Agar and other Caltrans officials visited Castle Commerce Center where the group learned about the Merced County Inland Port and Transportation Research Center located at the site.
The group then boarded one of The Bus’ new battery-electric vehicles and spent two hours on a special tour of the area.
Points of interest along the route included a number of current and future multimodal transportation projects such as the Atwater-Merced Expressway, Merced Airport Terminal, the site of the future station for ACE, San Joaquins and High-Speed rail services, the downtown Merced Transportation Center and Highway 99, among others.
Several housing projects were also highlighted along the way including The Retreat at Merced Apartments and other Project HomeKey locations. Director Tavares also had a chance to see UC Merced, downtown Merced revitalization work and the new murals located on several Highway 99 underpasses funded through a Clean California grant.
“Merced County is taking a leading role in preparing for the future of transportation and revitalizing their communities,” Tavares said. “It’s important for all Californians to have choices when it comes to moving goods, traveling to work, or going to school. As all of the projects I saw show, Merced County is demonstrating how multi-modal travel and integrated housing options will be a part of the state’s solutions moving forward.”
MCAG Board Chair Josh Pedrozo was pleased with the visit. “We appreciate Director Tavares coming to see firsthand the investments being made to develop our transportation network. This work will help meet the state’s goals around reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing affordable housing, improving highway safety, and addressing port congestion.”