La Cañada Valley Sun: Council resumes age-old question of sound wall funding amid pressure, uncertainty at state level

Wednesday, September 19 2018

It seems like every La Cañadan living within earshot of the Foothill (210) Freeway agrees the city needs more protective sound walls. But the question of how to fund them is older than the city itself.

In May, city officials learned state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) had secured $5 million in funding through a program under SB 1, a state transportation funding bill that instituted gas and vehicle tax hikes on California motorists.

An effort to repeal the tax on the November ballot, however, could mean a complete withdrawal of the funding Portantino secured for the city.

But even if it stands, La Cañada officials have learned they must put up equal matching funds for the $5 million and that the grant, approved by the California Transportation Commission, can be applied only to hard construction costs and not the estimated $2 million needed for design or environmental review. The grant also specifically names four sound walls Metro provided to the CTC without consulting La Cañada officials.

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