Sacramento, January 8, 1997 Assemblyman Ted Lempert (D-Palo Alto) announced today that he has introduced two legislative measures to help expedite the construction of a tunnel at Devil's Slide.
"With the passage of Measure T in November, the people of San Mateo County clearly stated that the way to fix Devil's Slide once and for all is with a tunnel," said Assemblyman Lempert. "My two measures will help achieve their goal."
The firs measure introduced by Assemblyman Lempert Assembly Joint Resolution 1 calls upon Congress and President Clinton to support the efforts of Congressman Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame) and others to re-secure nearly $52 million in federal emergency repair funds appropriated in 1983 for the bypass. This year, Congressman Lantos is attempting to re-allocate federal monies to help pay for the construction of Highway 1 improvements, including a tunnel.
"Without question, securing federal monies for the tunnel is a must. That is why the state must rally around Congressman Lantos' efforts in Washington," said Assemblyman Lempert.
Lempert's second legislative measure Assembly Bill 93 calls upon the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to: 1) immediately design and complete all project development work for the construction of a tunnel; 2) to complete an estimate of project costs by July 1, 1997 and report its findings to the County of San Mateo; and 3) pursue all avenues of federal funds. The bill also contains declarations stating that Highway 1 through Northern San Mateo County has experienced continued disruption due to storms and a tunnel needs to be constructed with federal emergency relief funds. FInally, the measure states legislative intent for all parties and agencies to work together to expedite the proper environmental review and permitting process.
"It is my belief that the Legislature should require Caltrans to act in an expeditious manner to construct the tunnel. Caltrans repeatedly told San Mateo County residents that money was available for a highway bypass; therefore, it should have the money for a tunnel and pursue it with the same zeal in making this alternative a reality," concluded Assemblyman Lempert.
Both measures are expected to be reviewed by the Assembly Transportation Committee in the coming weeks.