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August 26, 2011 > VTA receives more than $150M of state funding

VTA receives more than $150M of state funding

Submitted By Brandi Childress

Following the State of California's $50M commitment for BART Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has received additional good news from the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for two highway projects.

VTA received a total of $156.5M to add almost eight miles of carpool lanes and construct improvements to relieve existing and future traffic congestion on two heavily-traveled corridors in Santa Clara County. More than $71M was allocated to widen I-880 from a six to an eight-lane freeway in order to extend the carpool lanes, which currently end at the State Route (SR) 237 interchange in Milpitas, to the U.S. 101 interchange in San Jose. Nearly $85M will be invested in the construction of auxiliary and carpool lanes between SR85 in Mountain View and Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto.

VTA is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible and promote the vitality of the region. VTA is responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations and also serves as Santa Clara County's congestion management agency. As such, VTA is responsible for countywide transportation planning, including congestion management issues, specific highway improvement projects, pedestrian and bicycle improvement projects and provides these services throughout the county, including the municipalities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale. VTA continually builds partnerships to deliver transportation solutions that meet the evolving mobility needs of Santa Clara County.

The CTC was created through legislation enacted in the 1970s and is responsible for overseeing state-funded transportation programs, including various Proposition 1B transportation infrastructure bond programs passed by voters in November 2006. The Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) is one of these bond programs and the source of funding for the highway improvement projects.

"This is significant news and, quite honestly, unexpected," said Margaret Abe-Koga, VTA Board Chair and Mountain View City Councilmember. "We anticipated having to wait for a future bond sale to move forward with these construction contracts. Now the bid process can begin; hopefully, construction on I-880 and U.S. 101 will be underway by early 2012. The successful partnership between VTA and Caltrans was instrumental in reaching this important milestone."

As the Congestion Management Agency for Santa Clara County, VTA designed, environmentally cleared and secured the funding for both projects. Caltrans can now advertise and award the construction contracts slated for late fall. Caltrans will also construct, operate and maintain the highway improvements scheduled for completion in early 2014.

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