An area along Highway 1 in Oceano is about to get a major facelift.
“What’s coming here is something that’s been needed for a long time,” said Steve Montes, director of the Oceano Community Services District.
Caltrans is drawing the final designs for a community plaza coming to a triangular-shaped area between Highway 1, Beach Street and 17th Street.
“Everyone’s real excited, we’re gonna create this community plaza with trees, crosswalks, bike racks and benches, said Caltrans Spokesperson Colin Jones.
A one-block stretch of both Beach Street and 17th Street will be blocked off to traffic to create a pedestrian-friendly place for people to meet up and gather together.
“They really don’t have a central gathering point like a plaza that we’re helping develop,” added Jones.
Caltrans has released preliminary designs for the $1.3 million dollar project which includes trees, landscaping, a concrete boardwalk, a mural and benches.
“A couple years ago, you may remember Pismo Beach did kind of a facelift on their pier and this is something for Oceano that’s coming to us,” said Montes.
The goal is to turn the area into the new heart of downtown while drawing more people and tourism dollars into Oceano.
“It’s gonna be kind of a destination for Oceano. They certainly have the dunes and other areas but this is going to be in their downtown core,” said Jones.
Caltrans is working closely with the community to gather input on the project which will create a safe, walkable area for the community.
“We want to get their input. We have ideas but we want to make sure what we’re proposing is going to work with that particular community,” said Jones.
Construction is set to begin by early next year and the plaza is expected to be complete sometime in 2023.
“We’re looking forward to it and it’s gonna hopefully put us back on the map,” added Montes.
The plaza could be the site of farmers’ markets and other community events.
The project is part of Caltrans’ Clean California program. There are 12 beautification projects in the works across California right now.