County road projects on schedule

February 26, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

The county's top four road projects are not in danger of being pushed back, despite a state-wide request to do so, California Department of Transportation officials said Monday.

The California Transportation Commission, which designates money for road and rail improvements, sent a letter to local agencies stating lack of funding would push some projects back.

The Imperial Valley Association of Governments called an emergency meeting with CalTrans officials to find out if the county and city governments need to reschedule road projects.

The county's four 2002 state transportation improvement plan projects are:

· Highway 78 Brawley bypass;

· Highway 111 pavement rehabilitation;

· State Route 7 four-lane expressway upgrade;

· Interstate 8 and Imperial Avenue interchange.

Alan Kosup, division chief over program management for CalTrans, said Imperial County projects probably will not be affected.

The problem is 90 percent of the money the commission approves comes from the federal government, and the federal government has already said it may defer transportation money, Kosup said.


County Public Works Director Tim Jones said the commission told each region to delay some projects out of the 2002 year cycle. It wanted the information Monday, so IVAG had the emergency meeting.

But the county is a step ahead of other regions because of public workshops last year that established road work priorities.

"We've already narrowed our projects from 20 to four. Other areas in the state have about 20 road projects on their list and they need to push some back. We've already done that," association administrator Rosa Lopez said.

IVAG is made up of representatives from the county, the Imperial Irrigation District, Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial and Westmorland.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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