When the California Transportation Commission meets at the end of this month to carve up the first quarter of the state’s newly passed $19.9 billion transportation bond, it will have some hard choices to make.

The San Diego Association of Governments, the county’s planning group, has offered up roughly $1.6 billion in proposed projects on its wish list. But the state’s Department of Transportations has endorsed less than a third of the total, nominating just over $500 million in projects.

In fact, every single region has asked for far more money than Caltrans has endorsed.

Ahead of the election, the television commercials on behalf of proponents of Proposition 1B suggested that it would “add lanes and fix I-5, the 805 and I-15.” However, the list of nominations offered by Caltrans sets aside only $146 million for work on Interstate 5 — money to extend carpool lanes north of the 805 junction.

By contrast, SANDAG has asked for about $900 million to widen the freeway in various places between La Jolla and Carlsbad.

The transportation commission will choose the first batch of projects that will receive funding by early next month.


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