Congressman Garamendi Fights for Important Transportation Projects at Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) today spoke before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development to plead for funding for important transportation priorities in the 10th Congressional District. At the hearing Garamendi advocated for four transportation projects: the Highway 4 widening project, the Travis Air Force Base North Gate, I-580 improvements, and the Dixon Train Station/Parkway Boulevard Overcrossing.
Video of Congressman Garamendi at the subcommittee hearing is here.
"Travis Air Force Base, the largest employer in Solano County, presently suffers from daily traffic jams caused by having only one access point to the base," Congressman Garamendi explained. "The Travis Air Force Base North Gate, a top priority of the Solano Transportation Authority, would reduce congestion and improve security by making sure that Air Force personnel are able to perform their duties."
Congressman Garamendi requested $5,000,000 for the Travis Air Force Base North Gate.
"Highway 4 is the only major east-west transportation link joining the communities of Antioch, Pittsburg, Oakley and Brentwood with central Contra Costa County and the Greater Bay Area, and it’s one of the most heavily used commercial and commuter highways in Northern California," Congressman Garamendi said. "This project, a top priority of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, is coordinated with a Bay Area Rapid Transit extension and will extend the present four lanes express lane into a six lane freeway – reducing a very significant daily traffic jam."
Congressman Garamendi requested $40,000,000 for Highway 4.
"I-580 is the primary link between the Bay Area and the Central Valley, and it is cluttered with congestion at almost any hour," Congressman Garamendi said. "By investing in I-580, a top priority of the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, we can reduce some commutes by hours and improve business and tourism throughout Northern California."
Congressman Garamendi requested $10,000,000 for I-580.
"The Dixon Train Station/Parkway Boulevard Overcrossing is an incredibly important project for the people of Dixon, and it’s a top priority of the Solano Transportation Authority," Congressman Garamendi explained. "Dixon is home to a major intercontinental rail line used for both freight trains and the Capitol Corridor commuter rail system, and trains pass through the center of the city dozens of times each day. The needless delays and safety hazards created by train traffic will end with the construction of this overpass."
Congressman Garamendi requested $2,000,000 for the Dixon Train Station/Parkway Boulevard Overcrossing.
According to a 2007 study by the Texas Transportation Institute, the Bay Area has the second worst traffic conditions in the nation. According to TRIP (The Road Information Project), a nonprofit organization promoting policies which are designed to improve traffic conditions, 61 percent of all Bay Area highways are in poor condition. This costs Bay Area residents an extra $2,032 a year in higher vehicle operating costs, crash expenses, and delays caused by congestion. 80 percent of the commerce and traffic in and out of the Bay Area moves through the 10th Congressional District.
For Fiscal Year 2011, Congressman Garamendi submitted a total of 22 project requests to the House Appropriations Committee, which are available for public viewing here. Early in the earmark selection process, Congressman Garamendi rejected all for-profit earmarks. All earmarks requested originated from the community, and most earmarks requested come directly from local governments and agencies. The Appropriations Committee is now reviewing Garamendi’s requests.