06.12.2023 | News Release
San Diego Region Slated to Receive $260M for Transportation Improvements
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has announced its staff recommendation to award more than $260 million in competitive funds to the San Diego region for the advancement of critical transportation projects. The CTC is scheduled to approve these awards, part of the Senate Bill 1- Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, at its upcoming meeting on Thursday, June 29.
SANDAG and Caltrans received the largest award recommendation of $140 million through the Senate Bill 1 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program for the advancement of the federal State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project (OME POE).
The OME POE will create a new, modern, land border crossing for the Cali-Baja region. Using state-of-the-art technologies, the new port of entry will improve mobility and air quality at the border. It will also help boost the economy and increase trade between the U.S. and Mexico.
“These state grants are great news for the San Diego region and represent a significant investment in improving our community infrastructure," said SANDAG and San Diego County Supervisor Chairwoman Nora Vargas. "By allocating $260 million for these projects, we can continue to enhance infrastructure that will greatly improve the quality of life for the residents of San Diego County. This includes improving rail lines in north county and ensuring the completion of the East Otay Mesa Port of Entry, both are essential projects for our binational region.”
A significant investment of $103 million has been recommended for SANDAG and the North County Transit District to implement crucial rail infrastructure for the Build NCC Batiquitos project. The state funding comes as part of the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program and will go towards replacing an 80-year-old wooden bridge with a modern concrete rail bridge. The project will add 0.6 miles of double track across the Batiquitos Lagoon, connecting the cities of Carlsbad and Encinitas.
“The North Coast Corridor Program and Build NCC, specifically, is a significant project in the San Diego region and the state of California,” said Caltrans District 11 Director Gustavo Dallarda. “This important investment will expand multi-modal capacity to the region, in line with regional transportation goals of building a faster, fairer, and cleaner transportation system.”
These rail improvements are a crucial part of the Build NCC program, designed to invest almost $1 billion more than 20 years in double track upgrades from the Orange County line to Downtown San Diego. So far, around two-thirds of the San Diego section of the LOSSAN rail line has been double tracked, allowing trains traveling in opposite directions to pass without slowing or stopping.
“This investment in the LOSSAN Corridor by the State of California moves a critical project forward,” said NCTD Chair of the Board of Directors Jewel Edson. “Replacement of the Batiquitos Lagoon Bridge and the addition of approximately 0.6 miles of double tracking will add capacity to support future service increases and ensure the LOSSAN Corridor is resilient for years to come.”
The CTC staff has recommended allocating an additional $18.5 million as part of the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program to SANDAG and Caltrans in partnership with the Port of San Diego for the Harbor Drive 2.0 Port Access Improvements. The Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue and National City Marine Terminals are critical to San Diego’s Working Waterfront industrial area. These terminals handle freight, trains, and trucks for both domestic and international trade. However, they also affect the surrounding communities, schools, and transit centers.
This project will bring several enhancements, including the construction of dedicated truck lanes, queue jumps, and the implementation of Intelligent Transportation System technologies. The project will also include state-of-the-art electric charging infrastructure to support zero-emission trucks.
“This funding covers additional steps needed before we and our partners can break ground on Harbor Drive 2.0 – a breakthrough vision to improve the main transportation corridor between the Port of San Diego’s cargo terminals and surrounding communities,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Everyone wins. Our neighbors in Barrio Logan and National City win with fewer trucks in their streets, easier transit, and more bike lanes and sidewalks; industry wins because cargo trucks can get in and out of the terminals and to the freeways faster; and the environment wins with urban greening and improvements that will reduce truck idling, leading to fewer emissions and cleaner air. We couldn’t be more thrilled or grateful to Caltrans and SANDAG for bringing home vital planning dollars as we continue to pursue funding for construction.”
The recommended funding represents a significant investment in the region's infrastructure, demonstrating the commitment of the California Transportation Commission to support the growth and development of the San Diego region.