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SANDAG approves $108M of stimulus funding for 76

The San Diego Association of Governments board voted unanimously March 27 to approve the distribution of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, including $108 million for work on State Route 76.

“I hope this kind of helps everything,” said Oceanside mayor Jim Wood, who is Oceanside’s representative on the SANDAG board.

The Federal economic stimulus revenue will substitute for borrowed funding allocated for Highway 76.

“By using the Federal money we’re using somebody else’s money first,” said SANDAG senior transportation engineer Jose Nuncio.

“That’s deferring the need to use those borrowed funds,” Nuncio said. “In the long term it helps other projects get done sooner.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama on February 17.

The $575 billion of spending includes $27.5 billion for highway construction and $20.6 billion for other transportation programs.

The economic stimulus funding is distributed to the states through existing formulas, providing $2.57 billion to California.

That amount includes 30 percent, or $770.9 million, allocated directly to regions using the surface transportation program formula and 70 percent, or $1.798 billion, to the state for use at its discretion.

The state’s formula division will allocate $625.7 million for the State Highway Operations and Preservation program and $1.173 billion for the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

The STIP allocation will include $293.2 million for interregional STIP projects with the remainder earmarked for regional programs.

San Diego County’s share of the STIP will be $60.4 million with an additional $4.2 million for transportation enhancement programs, and the direct payments to the San Diego region will provide $62.4 million.

The construction contract to widen State Route 76 between Melrose Drive in Oceanside and South Mission Road is scheduled to be advertised in June 2009.

The estimated cost of construction, including the TransNet regional environmental mitigation program, is $158 million.

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