Plan to widen Santa Maria River bridge gets $37.7 million in funding

A project to widen the Santa Maria River bridge near the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara county lines will move forward, thanks to $37.7 million in funds from the California Transportation Commission.

The commission today allocated $1 billion to 107 transportation projects statewide, according to a news release from Caltrans' District 5 office.

Of that, $838 million comes from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. The rest comes from state and federal transportation funds.

The project will widen the Santa Maria River bridge from four to six lanes, with shoulders and a bike lane. It will receive $25 million from Proposition 1B funds, $10 million from the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, and $2.7 million from the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments.

Construction on this project is expected to begin this summer.

The project has had a lengthy past: In 2007, the commission tentatively approved funding for the project but ended up taking back the money after Southern California officials — particularly those in Los Angeles — complained and demanded they receive more.

Click here for more information on projects that received funding.