San Benito County

State, local elected officials call for funding to complete interchange projects

State and local congressmen ask for more funding

AROMAS, Calif. - On Thursday, California Sen. Barbara Boxer addressed the need for Congress to act on the law that authorizes the nation's surface transportation programs to continue.

"We are facing a transportation government shutdown. Let's be honest, that's what we are facing unless Congress does its job," said Boxer.

"Cal Trans has warned us, that is the California Department of Transportation, they'd have no choice but to halt the award of any new transportation projects that rely on federal funding as soon as October, because who knows if there will be this shut down," said Boxer.

News Channel Five Caught up with Caltrans Director, Malcom Dougherty to learn how this halt could affect the San Juan Road interchange construction over the 101, an area notorious for deadly accidents.

"The dilemma we're facing with the highway trust fund, which is how the federal dollars flow to the states to pay for transportation. It basically runs out of money about August. If that problem is not solved in the near future we'll have a problem with our ongoing projects by the end of the calendar year," said Dougherty.

This could essentially stop funding to new projects, and eventually stall projects already started by January. The hope is to have this San Juan Road Interchange finished by next year. But if an agreement isn't met by Congress, chances are it won't.

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