Highway Planners Fear Caltrans' Liking for Rural Projects
Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer
When Californian voters overwhelmingly backed Proposition 1B -- which promised congestion relief in its proponents' campaign ads -- many of them probably weren't thinking of busting through backups in such places as the Trinity Mountains, Willits and Angels Camp.
But highway projects in those rural areas are competing with such Bay Area projects as a fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, carpool lanes on Interstate 580 and the Cordelia interchange for the first big batch of transportation bond money from the $20 billion bond measure, which voters approved in November.
The first $4.5 billion in bond money is earmarked for projects that will make traffic flow better on highways. On Friday, the California Transportation Commission's staff will release a recommended list of such projects that it has culled from the 147 plans -- worth $11.3 billion -- nominated by county and regional transportation agencies and Caltrans.
On Tuesday, the commission will hold a hearing, and it will decide at its monthly meeting Feb. 28 in Irvine.
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