The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has received a $47 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to address Interstate 5’s chronic congestion in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The new federal grant adds to Metro’s own locally generated funding. Metro is contributing over $250 million to the project from local sales tax dollars raised through Measure M. Metro’s funding will also be matched with more than $200 million in SB 1 gas tax funds approved by California voters in 2017. Improvements will help alleviate the chokepoint on this congested freeway corridor, increase capacity and improve goods movement via freight trucks.

“This project is an excellent example of what happens when local, state and federal governments step up together to fund critically needed transportation improvements,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.

Funds were awarded under the Interstate 5 Golden State Chokepoint Relief Program and will go toward extending High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes by 13.4 miles and creating eight miles of truck lanes.

“For too long, congestion has robbed us of precious time that could be spent with our loved ones and efficiency that helps grow our economy,” said L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “This grant will ease traffic on one of our busiest freeways — freeing more Angelenos from the grip of congestion and allowing goods to travel faster throughout our region.”

“This is great day for our Santa Clarita Valley communities and major step forward in our effort to reduce congestion along the Interstate 5 corridor, which will improve traffic safety, air quality and economic vitality across the region,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, a Metro board member. “Los Angeles County is leading the nation in its ability to leverage local funding for infrastructure projects with regional and national significance.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the highly competitive federal INFRA grant program provides dedicated, discretionary funding for projects that address critical issues facing our nation’s highways and bridges.

Southern California Partnership for Jobs supports infrastructure investment. We advocated for the passage of SB 1, a new transportation funding source that is becoming ever more critical for California. We oppose any efforts to repeal SB 1 that would rob our communities of vital road safety and transportation improvement funds.

Source: Mass Transit Magazine