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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : City Wins $3.5 Million for 7 Transit Projects : Roads: MTA money will help pay for bridge widenings, lane restriping, signal synchronization and bike trails.

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The city drove away with about $3.5 million in grants awarded in July by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Santa Clarita announced Friday.

Local officials say they are happy with the seven grant awards, which will help fund two bike trails, two bridge widenings, street lane restriping and traffic signal synchronization along major Santa Clarita roads.

“We’re real pleased because it’s a lot more competitive this year. Other jurisdictions became aware of how much money was available,” said Kevin Michel, the city senior planner who coordinated the three-month application process.

Santa Clarita in late March submitted 40 projects for funding, vying with 720 applications turned in by other cities and transportation firms throughout Los Angeles County. Each competed for a slice of $6.2 billion in revenue--from a variety of funding sources including propositions A and C sales tax hikes--that the MTA is administering for 1993.

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The transportation agency earmarked the funds four weeks ago, but could not confirm the amounts until recently.

“We knew very early in July, but because of the early budgetary process, we were tracking it,” said Michel. “Ultimately, I think our best projects got funded. We would like there to have been more available, but that’s what is in the pot.”

Topping Santa Clarita’s allocations is a $1.1 million grant for a bike path paralleling the Santa Clara River. The 14.5-mile trail will run from the Golden State Freeway to the Shadow Pines neighborhood.

The new revenue adds to the $800,000 committed by the MTA last year for the $5.3-million bikeway, according to Joe Inch, city trails coordinator.

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Santa Clarita also received $801,738 that will help pay off $4.5 million in bonds sold to buy the city transit system’s 29 buses. The buses are used for local routes and commuter runs to downtown Los Angeles.

The city received about $3.5 million from the MTA in 1992. If Santa Clarita had been unable to secure the annual grant funding, many of its trail and road projects would have been postponed for years.

Most of the projects require 25% in matching funds. Michel credited the local match and the widespread impact of the projects as main reasons they were awarded the grants.

“We made sure our projects were regional in nature, multi-modal, used primary roadways and helped improve the air quality,” Michel said.

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The other grants will help pay for:

* Widening the Camp Plenty Bridge on Soledad Canyon Road over the Santa Clara River to allow a bike path. The three-mile trail will run from the Santa Clarita Transit Center in Saugus to the Camp Plenty Bridge in Canyon Country and is expected to cost nearly $1.3 million, including the widening. The grant is for $607,600.

* Restriping Sierra Highway from four to six lanes between Soledad Canyon and San Fernando roads. The grant is for $327,600, with $109,200 in matching funds from Santa Clarita.

* Widening the bridge on Sierra Highway over the Santa Clara River to accommodate six lanes of traffic and a bike path. The project is to cost $522,500, with the MTA grant and city funds equally sharing the expense.

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* Synchronizing traffic signals. The linking of lights on Lyons Avenue between the Golden State Freeway and San Fernando Road will be paid for by $250,800 in grant money and $167,200 in matching city funds. Similar work along the length of Valencia Boulevard-Soledad Canyon Road will be paid for by $205,000 in grant funds and $68,000 from Santa Clarita.


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