Cars travel on city streets and highway overpasses in San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The staff of the California Transportation Commission has recommended that the San Diego region get an initial $311 million in funds from Senate Bill 1, which recently increased the gas tax to fund road and bridge repairs

The announcement by SANDAG comes a day after former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio and other California Republicans submitted signatures for a ballot measure to repeal the tax.

“These SB 1 awards will be a major infusion of funds to the San Diego region,” SANDAG Chair and Del Mar Councilmember Terry Sinnott said. “With more than $311 million recommended for award…construction can start in the coming months to deliver transportation system improvements, including adding carpool lanes, improving rail lines, and building biking and walking paths.”

The higher gas tax will generate an estimated $5.4 billion a year for transportation improvements throughout the state of California.

The recommendations for the San Diego region include $195 million for the North Coast Corridor Program, $82 million for the California-Mexico Border System Project, and $10.5 million for the Sorrento to Miramar Double Track Project.

Recommendations also included about $24 million for other local transportation projects, including $12.5 million for the City of Escondido, approximately $6 million for the Port of San Diego and $6 million for the City of San Diego.

The commission will consider and vote on staff grant recommendations when it meets in San Diego on May 16-17.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.