SLO County Roundup

South County

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

The commission last week allocated $1 billion to 107 transportation projects statewide, according to a Caltrans announcement.

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

The project would widen the Santa Maria River bridge from four to six lanes, with shoulders and a bike lane.

It is to 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 is anticipated to begin in the summer.

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

For information on other projects that got funding, visit http://goo.gl/itRGz.

— Cynthia Lambert

San Luis Obispo

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County has a new food distribution site at Mission View Health Center, 1425 Woodside Drive, off Southwood Drive in San Luis Obispo.

Anyone in need can go to receive dry food, canned food and fresh fruit and vegetables between 4 and 6 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month.

The next distribution date is Monday. For more information, contact the food bank at 238-4664, or Sally at Mission View at 543-0210.

— Julia Hickey

Cal Poly

Washington, D.C.-based business publication Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Cal Poly as one of its “100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2010-11” in its February magazine.

For in-state students, Cal Poly retained its spot at No. 50 on the list of 100 public universities from around the U.S., and it moved up 14 spots to No. 33 for out-of-state students.

It joined seven University of California campuses — San Diego, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Davis and Santa Cruz.

Cal Poly is also joined this year by CSU Long Beach and San Diego State University.

Kiplinger’s develops its list based on a combination of academics and affordability, through a mix of its own reporting and existing data on more than 500 public, four-year colleges and universities.

The list is narrowed on measures of academic quality — including SAT and ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-to-faculty ratios and graduation rates.

Tuition costs and financial aid are then used to rank the schools, though academic quality still makes up two-thirds of the weight in the scoring system.

— Nick Wilson