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SANDAG to discuss local impacts from Infrastructure Bill

Posted at 8:51 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 23:51:34-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — More than a trillion dollars from the federal government are up for grabs for states and cities to qualify for with the new infrastructure bill.

SANDAG said that money could go towards major projects and others in the local region. It plans to hold a meeting to discuss the local impact with the Infrastructure Bill on Wednesday morning.

ABC 10News spoke to Director of Regional Planning for SANDAG prior to Wednesday's discussion about the local impacts with receiving money from the Bill.

"Getting the rail lines off of the Del Mar bluffs once and for all. Finishing our third border crossing that is key to economic development in this region. Building a central mobility hub where we can build a bunch of travel options together for people,” Coleen Clementson, the Director of Regional Planning, SANDAG, said.

In a press release from the agency, SANDAG said in part, "staff will provide further details on the overall funding strategy for the 2021 Regional Plan and how local revenue can be used to leverage federal and state funding sources."

Some advocates like Rick Bates hope that the money from the bill can be spent to help steer the region in the right direction.

"I would like to see that money makes it easier for our workers to get to their jobs so, they're not stuck in traffic. I think making connections to people's jobs and where they live is going to be very important,” Bates, Research Analyst for Unite HERE Local 30

SANDAG would also hope to use some of the federal funding to also have more of express or managed lanes like the ones on Interstate 15 on other highways in San Diego. The hope is to have more connectivity on highways and improve upon existing infrastructure.

But, it also hopes to improve transportation to have better equity in the region.

“We have a lot of people who do not have access to higher education in this region, higher paying jobs. The investment we are talking about can help those inequities,” Clementson said.

As San Diego gets ready to roll towards the future with potential funding, bates is encouraged about what lies ahead.

"I feel like we're finally beginning to take this seriously as, not just a region, but also as a country. We still have a long way to go,” Bates said.

SANDAG told ABC 10News the state's requirements for clean transportation and carbon reduction among other things align with the federal package, as well.

The agency hopes that puts California in place to receive a good amount of money.