The San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board is requesting over $41 million in Measure A and W taxpayer funding for three Highway 101 safety and congestion improvement projects that will trigger funding from other sources if approved.
The board of the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, or TA, authorized the request for funding at its Oct. 7 meeting for the Highway 101 and State Route 92 Interchange Area Improvement Project, the Highway 101 and State Route 92 Interchange Direct Connector Project, and the Highway 101 Managed Lanes Project north of Intestate 380. The Interchange Area Improvement Project would improve freeway-to-freeway ramp connectors and improve traffic safety and mobility to four highway areas in San Mateo and Foster City. The Interchange Direct Connector Project would address traffic congestion at State Route 92 just east of Highway 101. The Managed Lanes Project north of Interstate 380 converts the inside travel lane in each direction to a managed lane and includes outside widening for auxiliary lanes.
The board is asking for around $5 million for the Interchange Area Improvements project design and construction phase, $10.2 million for the Interchange Direct Connector Project environmental review phase and $26.4 million for the Managed Lanes Project design and right-of-way phases.
If awarded, it will commit $31.7 million in Regional Measure 3 and State Transportation Improvement Program funds for the Area Improvements Project, $2 million in Regional Measure 3 funding for the Direct Connector Project and $5.4 million in State Transportation Improvement Program funds for the Managed Lanes Project, a staff report said. Regional Measure 3 is a 2018 Bay Area ballot measure that increased bridge tolls in the Bay Area except for the Golden Gate Bridge. The State Transportation Improvement Program is a five-year plan from the California Transportation Commission that allocates funds for various transit improvements.
“The TA typically does not fund more than 50% of the project costs for a project, so the TA staff are already working to secure other funding sources from the state and federal programs to assist in providing the remaining funding needed for the projects,” Transportation Authority spokesperson Dan Lieberman said by email.
The TA staff will submit a joint, co-sponsored application with the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, or C/CAG. The request will be submitted to the TA but it will be reviewed by a selection panel of subject matter experts like other Transportation Authorities and Caltrans, Lieberman said. The TA board will be presented with the selection committee’s recommendations at its November meeting, with potential adoption in December. It will make final decisions on project funding based on recommendations from the scoring committee, Lieberman said.
If rewarded, TA staff will work with C/CAG to commence work on each funded project within one year of receiving it. The money would come from 2021 Measure A and Measure W Highway Program funding. Measure A is a half-cent sales tax for transportation programs and projects approved by county voters in 2004 and expires in 2033. Around 27% of Measure A revenue is dedicated to highway programs. Voters in 2018 approved Measure W, a 30-year half-cent sales tax for transportation programs and projects that started in 2019 and will go until 2049. Approximately 21% is for highway congestion improvements.
Emailed public comments from Jennifer Garstang and Darryl Yip on behalf of local advocates expressed concern about funding for the Highway 101 Managed Lanes Project north of Interstate 380. They did not want to widen Highway 101 because it would go against environmental and equity goals and cause people to drive more often. They asked for the TA to ask Caltrans to pursue project alternatives.
For the Highway 101 Express Lanes project, the next phase is to conduct an extensive environmental review in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. This phase will include a robust public outreach process to address concerns, Lieberman said. People can go to https://deavpm.wixsite.com/san-mateo101 for more information about the project.
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