'It was like Christmas morning' Santa Cruz residents rejoice over new road

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It's been a long year for people who live in the Rolling Green Estates community of Aptos, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Last January, Valencia Road, the main way in and out of their neighborhood, started to slump because the culvert underneath collapsed in heavy rain. (KGO-TV)

It's been a long year for people who live in the Rolling Green Estates community of Aptos, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Last January, Valencia Road, the main way in and out of their neighborhood, started to slump because the culvert underneath collapsed in heavy rain.

RELATED: Rain pounds Santa Cruz mountains

It was one of several roads in Santa Cruz County that became impassable and had to be closed.

People in Rolling Green Estates called it a nightmare.

One man said there were days they couldn't leave.

The detour was an 8-mile long windy mountain road dotted with smaller washouts and sinkholes of its own.

Valencia Elementary School decided to relocate the students to other campuses for the year because it was too difficult for parents and buses to navigate the area.

RELATED: Storm-damaged section of Hwy 35 reopens 11 months after heavy rains

But finally, about a year and a month later, both lanes of Valencia Road are back in business.

It was an elaborate project that involved digging out 50 feet of earth, building retaining walls, moving utility poles and then putting it all back together.

Valencia Road was one of five priority projects identified by the county after last winter. The others are done or almost done.

It will be years before all of the smaller repairs are finished. The wet weather damaged more than 200 sites at a cost of $122 million.

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weathersanta cruz countyrainwindfloodingflash floodingroad repairSanta Cruz
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