In seven days, the North Bay’s passenger rail system received a sudden avalanche of $74 million for a long-stalled effort to bring the train tracks north to Healdsburg.
The first boon came last week, when the California Supreme Court dismissed a long-running lawsuit from a tax advocacy group, freeing up Bay Area bridge toll dollars that includes $40 million for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit.
Then, on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $2.5 billion in funding grants for transportation, including more than $34 million to SMART.
The Great Redwood Trail is a 320-mile, world-class, multi-use rail-to-trail project connecting California’s San Francisco and Humboldt Bays. The legacy trail will travel through some of the wildest and most scenic landscapes in the United States, traversing old growth redwood forests, running alongside oak woodlands and vineyards, and winding through the magnificent Eel River Canyon.Much of it is now done, and work continues on the remaining parts of it.
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District along with partner agencies have constructed over 28 miles of pathway, of which approximately 21 miles are Class I SMART Pathway within and along the railroad right-of-way.
Currently, 9.5 miles of pathway are slated for construction in 2023/2024. SMART is advancing another 31 miles of planned pathway through design, of which 3.5 miles are already fully funded for construction.