Tuesday, February 19, 2008

County Seeks Funds To Renovate I-80 Truck Scales

County Seeks Funds To Renovate I-80 Truck Scales
By Barry Eberling | Daily Republic | February 18, 2008

FAIRFIELD - Solano County's quest to get state bond money to renovate the eastbound California Highway Patrol trucks scales on Interstate 80 will continue Thursday.

The California Transportation Commission has $2 billion in state bond money to hand out. It will hold a hearing in Oakland to hear pitches from regional contenders. The meeting is 10 a.m. at the Caltrans office, 111 Grand Ave.

'We will be there as part of the Bay Area,' Solano Transportation Authority Executive Director Daryl Halls said.

Then it will be back to waiting. Halls doesn't expect the commission to make a decision until March or April.

County leaders want $49 million for a $100 million project, with the rest of the money coming from other sources. They want to relocate the eastbound scales a short distance, make them larger and create better merge lanes for the trucks entering and leaving I-80.

Among other things, the project is designed to improve traffic flow on the congested freeway.

The $2 billion the CTC will award is part of the $20 billion state transportation bond measure passed by voters in November 2006. This particular part of measure targets projects that improve trade corridors.

Regions across the state have submitted $4.1 billion in potential projects, twice the available money.

'There's competition,' Halls said. 'There's going to be jockeying behind the scenes.'

Also nominated are projects on the Capitol Corridor train route, including the addition of tracks to the Oakland-Martinez route. That would help freight traffic and help the trains stay on time. The cost is $215 million, with $108 million to come from the bonds.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646, Ext. 232, or at beberling@dailyrepublic.net.

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