Highway 180 project faces funding setbacks

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The scenic four-lane stretch of Highway 180 east of Fresno reverts back to two lanes as you approach the town of Centerville and traffic here becomes much more congested. (KFSN)

Local leaders worry funding cuts may cause an indefinite delay for a highway widening project in Fresno County.

The scenic four-lane stretch of Highway 180 east of Fresno reverts back to two lanes as you approach the town of Centerville and traffic here becomes much more congested.

"This is a main corridor for all the transportation for all the agricultural products around the world," Sanger mayor Raul Cantu said.

The third and final segment of the Highway 180 widening project winds through the town of Minkler all the way to the Schoolhouse restaurant at Frankwood Avenue in Sanger, but funding cutbacks could delay the three-mile long project.

Real estate developer Darius Assemi is vice-chair of the California Transportation Committee which voted to cut $754 million in statewide funding.

"When the revenue and funding is not coming because gas prices are down and gas taxes are down so that money is not coming in and can't be allocated," Assemi said.

Assemi was part of a local group seeking a new transportation funding package from state lawmakers and Governor Brown. They say money for road projects and potholes is often re-directed to other projects.

"We also need when that funding comes we need to really build a true firewall around that funding," Tulare City Council member Craig Vejvoda said.

There's $29 million in state money that is still needed to complete the Highway 180 widening project which also relies on Measure C funding. It's scheduled to be complete by the winter of 2018.
Related Topics:
newshighwaysstimulus fundsgovernmentfresno countySanger
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