State commission recommends $311 million for transportation improvements

SAN DIEGO —   The chair of the San Diego Association of Governments said Tuesday the California Transportation Commission’s recommendation of $311 million for local transportation improvements is great news for the region.

The commission will consider and vote on staff grant recommendations when it meets in San Diego on May 16-17.

Projects are funded by grant programs created under the passage of SB 1, which increased state gas taxes to pay for transportation improvements.

“These SB 1 awards will be a major infusion of funds to the San Diego region,” SANDAG Chair and Del Mar Councilman Terry Sinnott said. “With more than $311 million recommended for award, in addition to the more than $450 million already awarded to the region, construction can start in the coming months to deliver transportation system improvements, including adding carpool lanes, improving rail lines, and building biking and walking paths.”

Sinnott was referring to $450 million awarded last year for highway, bridge and culvert projects, among other things.

The recommended $311 million includes $195 million for improvements to the North Coast Corridor Program, which is centered on Interstate 5 and coastal rail transportation. The California-Mexico Border System Project, created to improve border crossings, expand freight rail service and coordinate commercial vehicle crossings, would receive $82 million and the Sorrento to Miramar Double Track Project would receive $10.5 million. Project workers are laying additional miles of rail between Interstate 805 and Miramar Road.

The CTV staff last week also recommended money for other local bodies, including $12.5 million for the city of Escondido and $6 million each for the Port of San Diego and the city of San Diego.