After reviewing over five-dozen applications, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board has recently voted to fund 46 transportation projects within the county. Resources derive from Measure M2, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, approved by 70% of voters in 2006.
This 30-year investment plan will generate nearly $15 billion dollars in revenue, which will be used to improve key freeways to reduce traffic congestion, synchronize traffic signals countywide, build a safe and clean rail transportation system, repair 6,500 miles of deteriorating streets and roads and protect beaches from urban runoff. The measure’s first allocation of funds will mainly be used to widen major streets, add turning lanes, improve intersections, enhance freeway on- and off-ramps and increase bike lanes.
Measure M2 is granting roughly $56 million for such enhancements in the cities of Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Mission Viejo, Santa Ana, Orange, Newport Beach, Irvine, Brea, Cypress, Buena Park, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Yorba Linda and La Habra. In addition to the minimum of 25% of total project costs that each of these cities must pay to collectively match the measure’s authorized funds, the grand total of construction finances has reached $107 million. It has been predicted that these 46 projects will generate about 2,000 jobs.
“Voters sent a clear message that transportation is a top priority,” says Patricia Bates, OCTA chair and Fifth District Supervisor. “We are very happy to see that the funding is provided to improve our local streets for everyone who lives, works and visits Orange County.”
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