The City of Bakersfield has received the last chunk of money it needed to fully fund its Centennial Corridor project.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award the city $50 million as part of its Infrastructure For Rebuilding America program to complete the project, which connects the Highway 58/99 interchange to the Westside Parkway.
“I cannot understate how important this is for Bakersfield, and I am thrilled that our dream of a better-connected city will soon be a reality for those who live and work in our community,” McCarthy said in a statement. “The Central Valley and Bakersfield are some of the most critical commerce zones in the state of California, and this project will save both commercial freight truckers and local motorists countless hours on the road each year, not only making our daily commutes shorter, but also reducing emissions for a cleaner, healthier Valley.”
The funding comes after the city earned several other grants to help pay for the project.
In March, the California Transportation Commission voted to allocate $31 million in State Highway Operation and Protection Program funds for the Belle Terrace project, part of preparatory work for the Centennial Corridor, and $63 million in State Transportation Improvement Program funds for construction of the corridor itself.
Most recently, Bakersfield received a $25 million grant from the California Transportation Transmission for the Centennial Corridor project. With all four grants, the city has received a total of $169 million.
“There will be no debt incurred by the city,” City Manager Alan Tandy said. “We have enough money on hand to complete the project, and we’re very pleased about that.”
Tandy thanked his staff for their efforts in securing the funding as well as those of McCarthy.
The entire project will cost about $270 million. Besides the state and federal grants, the rest of the funding came primarily from the Thomas Roads Improvement Program.
Tandy said that with the funding in place, he expects bids to go out in January for the main Centennial Corridor project.