Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Recovery Act Working for California, Congressman Garamendi Says at Caldecott Tunnel Groundbreaking

January 22, 2010
Press Release

Lasting Infrastructure and 5-6,000 Local Jobs Would Not
Exist without American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

ORINDA, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) today joined local, state, and transportation officials at the groundbreaking for the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, one of the country’s most important new infrastructure projects funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars.

"None of us would be here today at this worksite if it weren’t for the $197.5 million that came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for this project," Congressman Garamendi said. "The Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore project will create 5,000 to 6,000 new jobs and ease traffic congestion for Bay Area commuters."

The Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore project is consistent with ARRA’s primary goal of creating jobs in the present on efforts that will produce lasting infrastructure. The Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore project has been a priority for Bay Area voters for well over a decade. A 2003 voter-approved Bay Area bridge toll (Measure 2) and 2004 voter-approved Contra Costa County sales tax (Measure J) helped fund the fourth bore.

In 2006, the Caldecott Tunnel was a top tier highlighted project for the statewide voter-approved Proposition B transportation infrastructure bond. However, when California’s slumping economy prevented all the bonds from being actualized, it took federal assistance to make up the difference. At $197.5 million, ARRA is the single largest source of funding for the project, followed by $122.8 million from Measure J, $50 million from Measure 2, $17.3 million from state sources, $11 million from Prop 1B, and $1.4 million from the federal surface transportation bill.

"The Recovery Act and other recent measures to improve our economy have done much to turn around the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," Garamendi added. "The Bush recession has put a lot of men and women in California out of work, but Congress and the President are turning things around. California’s Congressional delegation will continue to fight for every last dollar, but we also expect the state of California to process Recovery Act projects in a timely manner."

Yesterday, Congressman Garamendi called on Governor Schwarzenegger to lift the three-day a week furloughs he imposed on the Office of Historic Preservation to help process federal stimulus allocations faster. Earlier in the month, Inspector General Laura Chick alerted the Governor that furloughs at that office have caused a bottleneck in Recovery Act fund distributions, costing California money, jobs, and infrastructure.

California has received more than $63 billion from ARRA, including at least $9.7 billion for education, $7.9 billion for health and human services, and $5 billion for transportation. The 10th Congressional District has received more than $300 million in ARRA funds for transportation.