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Committee OKs Eight Projects for $379 million in RM 3 Cash

Tolls Funds Starting to Flow to Critical Bay Area work

Eastridge BART connector rendering. Courtesy VTA.

MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee today approved an allocation of $379 million in Regional Measure 3 toll dollars to fund eight transportation projects across the Bay Area. The committee's recommendation will be considered by the full Commission at its July 26 meeting.

Among the allocations recommended is $130 million for construction of the VTA Eastridge to BART Regional Connector. The project is a 2.4-mile extension of VTA Light Rail from Alum Rock to Eastridge. The RM 3 dollars would complete a funding plan along with $313 million in VTA Measure A funds and about a $90 million state investment. Work would start this year with completion expected in 2028.

“(It) is very important to the region,” said Margaret Abe-Koga, Chair of the Programming and Allocations Committee and a Mountain View City Council member, of the VTA project. “It’s in a community in East San Jose that’s one of our priority focuses in terms of equity.”

Bay Area voters approved RM 3 in June 2018 to help solve the Bay Area's growing congestion problems. RM 3 raised tolls on the region's state-owned toll bridges by $1 beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Tolls were increased by another $1 in January 2022, with another $1 increase set for January 2025.

Litigation challenging RM 3 was resolved in January 2023 and funds that were held in escrow were released in March. Prior to the release of the funds, MTC approved “Letters of No Prejudice,” allowing projects to begin with local funds in place of the RM 3 funds until the latter became available. Five of the eight projects approved today received letters.

The RM 3 toll dollars play a key role in completing the funding plans for some three dozen Bay Area projects, which often also rely on local, state and federal funds.  

Other RM 3 projects approved Wednesday by the Programming and Allocations Committee include:

  • Alameda County Transportation Commission: $85 million for the I-680/State Route 84 Interchange Reconstruction Project. (Project underway, completion expected early 2025.)
  • Alameda County Transportation Commission: $80 million for the I-680 Southbound Express Lane from Alcosta Boulevard to State Route 84. (Project underway, completion expected late 2025.)
  • Alameda County Transportation Commission: $55 million for the 7th Street Grade Separation East near the Port of Oakland. (Project underway, completion expected late 2026.)
  • Alameda County Transportation Commission: $10 million for environmental assessment of the planned State Route 262 (Mission Boulevard) Cross Connector linking I-880 and I-680 in Fremont.
  • San Mateo County Transportation Authority: $2 million for the environmental phase of the U.S. 101/State Route 92 Interchange Direct Connector Project in San Mateo.
  • Solano Transportation Authority: $15 million for construction of improvements to the State Route 37/Fairgrounds Drive interchange in Vallejo.
  • Solano Transportation Authority: $2 million for environmental work on the Solano Rail Hub project to improve access to Suisun-Fairfield Amtrak/Capitol Corridor station in Suisun City.

“It’s all about project delivery,” said MTC Commissioner and San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa. “These are really, really important projects regionally and I’m glad we are moving forward.”

MTC last month formally approved the first allocations of RM 3 dollars, releasing over $270 million for nine projects for which the sponsors already were moving ahead under Letters of No Prejudice. These initial allocations included: 

  • Contra Costa Transportation Authority: $13 million for ongoing work to reconfigure the I-680/State Route 4 interchange.
  • Contra Costa Transportation Authority: $13 million for the Mokelumne Trail Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossing at State Route 4.
  • Transportation Authority of Marin: $88 million for the final phase of the U.S. 101 Marin-Sonoma Narrows project north of Novato.
  • Napa Valley Transportation Authority: $20 million for upgrades to the Highway 29 Soscol Junction near Napa.
  • Napa Valley Transportation Authority: $20 million for a Vine Transit Maintenance Facility.
  • Solano Transportation Authority: $70.4 million for work on the I-80 Express Lanes project between Cordelia and Vacaville; $1.9 million to advance Phase II of the I-80/ I-680/Highway 12 interchange reconfiguration; and $30.7 million for replacement and relocation of the westbound I-80 truck scales.

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