Ventura River Trail Earmarked for $5 Million of Improvements

Pictured left to right: Amisha DeYoung-Dominguez, Michelle Sevilla, Liz Campos, Vathana Chy, Joe Schroder, Bill Ayub, Angelica Cisneros, Charlie Ebeling)

by Tracy Marcynzsyn

Ventura Mayor Joe Schroeder, Councilmembers, key stakeholders, and agency representatives gathered at the Westpark Community Center on Thursday, May 2, to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Ventura River Trail Improvements Project.

The first groundbreaking event in several years, the project is made possible by a $5 million grant from Caltrans as part of the Clean California program.

“Cal Trans is a proud partner with the City of Ventura by providing nearly $5 million through the Clean California local grant program in an effort to enhance the community to improve space for walking and recreation,” noted Caltrans Senior Landscape Architect Vathana Chy, adding that “Two of my favorite things to do are biking and hiking, so this is a great place!

“The Ventura River Trail Improvement Project is one of the many Clean California local grant programs and safety-related projects intended to clean up and bring beauty to underserved communities. The goal is to transform our public space into areas that we can be proud of and have a sense of place,” noted Chy, who commended the audience for embracing the Clean California spirit and sharing a vision for an improved active transportation network in the city.

“We look forward to partnering on projects here in the future,” he added.

Improvements to the Ventura River Trail, which travels along state route 33, connecting the westside of Ventura to Ojai and the ocean, include repaving the city’s 1.8-mile stretch of the bike trail, adding solar lighting, and installing trash cans, bike maintenance stations, landscaping, art installations, and various trail user amenities.

“We are dedicated to sustainable recreation and fostering connection within our community,” said Mayor Schroeder, expressing appreciation and thanks to all involved with the project.

“It’s a real pleasure to do the groundbreaking on a project first starting out,” said Public Works Director Charlie Ebeling, just one month into his new position.

“The trail’s an important part of the city’s active transportation program. It provides facilities that connect communities in a healthier, more sustainable way,” said Ebeling, noting that the Ventura River Trail was originally constructed as a Rails to Trails project in the late 1990s.

With an anticipated completion date this fall, the project promotes recreation by improving access and enhancing trail amenities.

“About 200 trees, 180 solar lights, a rest station, drinking fountains—all of these amenities are really going to help this trail and bring people out of their cars, riding their bikes, whether it’s for recreation, for health, or to get back and forth to work,” said Project Manager Jeff Hereford, Principal Civil Engineer in the Public Works Department. “We are excited about this project! Thanks to all involved!”

Learn more about the Ventura River Trail Improvement Project at

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