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Voters reject gas tax repeal: Helping local transportation projects

Posted at 2:32 AM, Nov 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-08 05:32:20-05

For more than a decade, Kern County’s roads have been improving thanks to millions in funding through the Thomas Roads Improvement Project.

Now, those transportation improvements will continue as proposition 6 and million of dollars of funding will continue to impact the state.


"We are typically the entity who can most quickly install the project being built - and the voters made the decision to retain that and that will be a benefit the road system in Bakersfield,” said Bakersfield City manager Alan Tandy.


Tandy breathing a sign of relief tonight as prop 6, and millions of dollars for road projects, including improvements to highway 58 ahead of the Centennial Corridor Completion, will continue. 


"The widening of the highway 99 and the loop connector that connects 58 to 99" 


If proposition 6, the controversial gas tax had been repealed by voters, it would have taken away nearly 500 million in funding for transportation projects. 


Something Tandy says would have threatened progress in many projects, already underway. 


"Under the formula that the legislature adopted, the city gets 8 million dollars a year for road work and that would have been lost had the measure resulted in repealed."


On Wednesday the Bakersfield City Council approving a contract for the Bakersfield freeway connection project, awarding Security Paving Company more than 48 million dollars to complete the work.


That project receiving 50 percent of its fund from the trade corridor enhancement program state funds, money collected through the state's gas tax. 


The Bakersfield Freeway connection project is adding extra lanes to try and ease the traffic near Ming Avenue on highway 99. The completion date is unknown but this is a step forward with the contract being awarded tonight.