State pulls $45 million from SLO County transportation projects - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

State pulls $45 million from SLO County transportation projects

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San Luis Obispo County road, rail and other transportation projects are now gridlocked after the state pulled millions in funding.

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) announced it is pulling $45.1 million in funding from the county. 

James Worthley is the Director of Planning for SLOCOG, the transportation planning agency for the county and says the reallocation of funding came as a shock. 

"It's very disappointing to me at this point in time," Worthley said."It certainly feels that the state identified a higher priority project and they pulled the money from our project."

The CTC is taking back $25 million it had previously put toward creating train service between San Luis Obispo and the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Additionally, a $19 million effort to make the notoriously deadly Wye interchange at Highways 41 and 46 safer with right-of-way signs has been cut. 

"[That interchange] has been a problem for years, for decades," Worthley said. 

The Brisco interchange project in Arroyo Grande is now delayed by at least four years. 

"It will stay as it is and up until then... in four years, we'll see what the cost escalation is going be each year, as costs and prices continue to go up," he said. 

Worthley says the state's gas tax is outdated in an era of hybrid and high-mileage cars. 

Since it does not appear that the state will have funding, Worthley says SLO County residents have to help themselves. 

"We're looking at a self-help measure that would be nine years long and would raise $225 million," he said. 

The measure would mean a half-cent sales tax increase and you may see it on your November ballot. 

SLOCOG is in the process of presenting the measure to local government boards to get approval to put it on the ballot. 

To learn more about the measure click here. 

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