Road work sign
Road work sign. File photo

The county Board of Supervisors Wednesday voted 4-0 in favor of spending $142.9 million in 2023 TransNet funds for numerous street projects in unincorporated communities, including Lakeside and Valley Center.

Originally proposed by the San Diego Association of Governments, TransNet is the half-cent sales tax that pays for local transportation projects. Voters first approved the measure in 1988, and in 2004 approved extending it for another 40 years. Funding covers a five-year period, from 2022-27.

County government relies on TransNet funding for roadway safety facilities and smart growth development, along with the transit infrastructure.

The county is required every two years to submit a five-year spending plan for TransNet money. Projects covered in that same period are:

  • South Santa Fe Avenue South, located in the unincorporated area of Vista and next to the North County Transit District’s Buena Creek Sprinter Station. When completed with available funding, the project will reinforce South Santa Fe Avenue from west of Robelini Drive to Smilax Road. It will also feature Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to ramps, sidewalks and crosswalks. Another planned upgrade will be to the intersection at South Santa Fe Avenue and Buena Creek Road. The project’s estimated cost is $98 million.
  • Cole Grade Road, in Valley Center near Valley Center High School. The project will revamp Cole Grade Road, from Fruitvale Road to Pauma Heights Road. When completed, it will enhance traffic flow during peak commuting hours and reduce vehicle idling. Also included is a multi-use pathway for pedestrian, equestrian, bicycle and other recreational uses. The $42.8 million project is scheduled to start this year.
  • Dye Road, in Ramona. The $12.5 million project involves a new road extension on Dye Road from Ramona Street to San Vicente Road. It also will feature roadway safety, stormwater runoff and traffic circulation improvements, and incorporate pedestrian and ADA access.
  • Ramona Street extension in Ramona, from Warnock Drive to Boundary Avenue. The $4.1 million project will feature storm-drain improvements, trash capturing devices, biofiltration systems and ADA-compliant facilities.
  • Ashwood Street Corridor, in Lakeside. The $32.8 million project — which includes an $8.6 million contribution from the Barona Tribe of Mission Indians — will focus on better traffic safety and reducing congestion. Construction crews this year will begin modifying Ashwood from Mapleview Street to Cactus Park, and the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and Willows Road. Improvements are new traffic signals and better pedestrian access. Along with the Barona tribe, Grossmont Union High School District is working with the county on the project.

Community planning groups in Lakeside, Ramona and Valley Center requested several of the TransNet projects.

Supervisor Jim Desmond, in whose district two projects are located, said he was glad for increased TransNet funding.

“This is great news for the residents of Vista and Valley Center,” he added.

In a related action, supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of a pedestrian hybrid beacon at Sunnyside Elementary School in the community of Bonita. The $361,000 project, paid for with a federal grant, will be put out to bid. When installed, the beacon will be activated on demand and improve pedestrian visibility.

City News Service contributed to this article.