County officials to highlight infrastructure projects funded by gas tax bill

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The California Transportation Commission this week awarded an additional $312 million in Senate Bill 1 funds to local infrastructure projects, the San Diego Association of Governments announced Friday.

Part of the award, $195 million, will go toward carpool lanes and other improvements meant to reduce congestion along the North Coast Corridor of Interstate 5.

The California-Mexico Border System Project, created to improve border crossings, also was awarded $82 million to increase mobility at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, California’s busiest commercial land port.

Additional funds will go toward assorted rail, road and marine terminal projects.

Caltrans, SANDAG members and other elected officials — including Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Sen. Ben Hueso and Assemblyman Todd Gloria — held a news conference Friday highlighting local SB 1 funding.

SB 1 went into effect in November. It raised gas and diesel taxes by 12 cents and 20 cents per gallon, respectively. Vehicle registration fees also increased $25 to $175, depending on the value of the vehicle.

Democrats who backed the increase said they believed it was the best way to handle a $137 billion backlog of road repairs. The increase is expected to raise more than $5 billion for transportation costs annually.

There has been significant pushback against the gas tax increase, however. Republicans are advocating for a repeal of the law, and an initiative is likely headed to the November ballot.

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