SAN DIEGO – Local executives are discussing how the $ 1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill will benefit projects in San Diego County.
Although it is still unclear how much money will be allocated to the region, Coleen Clemtson said with SUNDAY on Wednesday that they are ready to go when the funding comes in. Clemtson, director of regional planning, said some of the funds will provide much-needed resources to implement the agency’s Regional Plan 2021.
“We are talking about railway infrastructure, light rail, improving our roads, improving our motorways. A third border crossing is an important option that we have,” she said. “It is huge for the economic development of this region.”
Projects that could benefit from the bill include LOSSAN railroad improvements, State Route 11 and the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, work on the Del Mar bluffs and the Central Mobility Hub.
Federal law includes new investments targeting U.S. transportation infrastructure over five years, including money for airports, ports and waterways. Clemtson said SUNDAY is looking at what they can do now to improve transportation in San Diego, while also looking 20-30 years into the future.
“Another thing we’re also looking at is the infrastructure needed to charge electric vehicles as we move more toward electric vehicles across the region,” Clemtson said.
Clemtson also came in on a controversial plan to tax drivers per mile to fund the future of San Diego transportation with the shift to electric cars.
“We need to figure out how we can best raise local money. One of the things we are talking about is a toll. What people need to understand is that we all pay a gas tax. The road use charge is intended to replace the gas toll, “Clemtson said.
If approved, the toll will not take effect until 2030 at the earliest. Clemtson said it gives SUNDAY plenty of time to find out if the toll makes sense for San Diego County.
A meeting on the subject is scheduled for December 10th.
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