California Department of Transportation
 

California Department of Transportation

District 10 Stockton - Public Affairs Office
Lisa Balcom
(209) 941-6562

May 9, 2008

ATWATER FREEWAY PROJECT GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY HELD TODAY

This $43 million project is part of the Governor’s infrastructure improvement program

Atwater - The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced today the groundbreaking for a $43 million Proposition 1B funded project that will convert approximately two miles of State Route 99 from a four-lane expressway to a six-lane freeway on an alignment that will allow for future growth.

Proposition 1B is the $19.9 billion transportation bond that was championed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and approved by voters in November 2006. It is part of the Governor’s overall $42 billion infrastructure-improvement program for transportation, education, housing, levee repair, flood control, and parks plays an important role in creating jobs, preserving our quality of life and growing the state's economy.

Caltrans Director Will Kempton, addressing the citizens and elected officials, acknowledged the Governor's continued leadership on rebuilding California and for allowing this project to move to construction through Proposition 1B funding. When completed, the project will improve safety by closing four at-grade crossings.

"This project is exactly what voters wanted when they approved Proposition 1B,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “State Route 99 is a lifeline through our most important agricultural region, and this project will relieve traffic congestion, improve air quality, enhance safety, and give a boost to California’s economy.”

Other speakers at the event included Stacie Dabbs, Representative, United States Congressman Dennis Cardoza's Office; Kristine Hansen, Representative, State Senator Jeffrey Denham's Office; Mary Ward, Representative, State Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani's Office; Mike Nelson, Chairman, Merced County of Governments, Governing Board; Deidre Kelsey, Supervisor, District 4, Merced County Board of Supervisors; and Mayor Joan Faul, City of Merced.