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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 9:52 pm | Fair 36º


Capps Secures $650,000 in Appropriations Bill for Carpinteria Creek Bridge

The House passes transportation, housing and urban development legislation

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, voted Thursday night to invest in the nation’s infrastructure and boost economic recovery by funding transportation projects across California when she voted in favor of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. It passed by a vote of 251-167.

The bill would fund Department of Transportation infrastructure projects, including highway construction, bridge construction and public transit. It also funds Department of Housing and Urban Development projects including foreclosure assistance and housing assistance for veterans, the elderly and low-income Americans.

At the request of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Capps secured $650,000 in the legislation for the widening of the Carpinteria Creek Bridge on Highway 101. The project was the top regional priority for the board.

Earlier this year Capps met with SBCAG Executive Director Jim Kemp, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Guadalupe Mayor Lupe Alvarez and Carpinteria City Councilman Joe Armendariz to discuss the local needs for these funds.

“This is a perfect use of federal funds — a shovel-ready project that will create jobs quickly, meet important immediate needs and encourage long-term economic growth in our area,” Capps said. “I was proud to work with local officials to secure this critical funding for the Carpinteria Creek Bridge, and will continue my efforts to make sure the funding is included in the final bill signed by the president.”

“Funding for the Carpinteria Creek Bridge widening project is the No. 1 priority in our Santa Barbara Association of Governments legislative platform this year, and thanks to Congresswoman Capps, these critical resources have been included in the House-passed transportation appropriations bill,” Carbajal said. “This federal money would compliment local funding to continue the progress on the South Coast Highway 101 HOV widening project, which will ultimately result in three northbound and three southbound travel lanes between Santa Barbara and Ventura.”

The project would replace the Highway 101 bridge over Carpinteria Creek with a bridge that is above 100-year flood levels based on flood maps recently released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The profile of Highway 101 to the north and south of the bridge also would have to be raised to conform to the new elevated bridge, and the bridge would accommodate two new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes plus the four lanes currently on Highway 101.

This request is one component of the Highway 101 High Occupancy Vehicle Lane Widening Project, between the cities of Carpinteria and Santa Barbara, that has been unanimously approved by Santa Barbara County Association of Government’s board as the region’s highest priority for federal transportation funding. It creates incentives for carpooling and makes sensible, pre-emptive changes to needed highway infrastructure in light of the potential for flood-related natural disasters.

The bill is $500 million below the 2010 level and $1.3 billion below President Barack Obama’s budget. Investments in the bill would create more than 160,000 new jobs. For example, the bill’s additional investment of more than $4 billion above 2010 for the Federal Highway Administration would create more than 142,000 new jobs in highway construction. Similarly, the bill’s additional investment of $500 million above 2010 for public transit would create an estimated 20,000 new jobs.

— Ashley Schapitl is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.


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