Former mayor tasked with spending federal cash to build California infrastructure

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California Construction News staff writer

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will serve as the new Infrastructure Advisor to the State of California, working with local, state and federal leaders to identify priority projects and maximize access to federal funds.

The announcement comes as the U.S. Department of Transportation outlined $120 million in funding for eight projects through the IIJA Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program to improve and modernize transportation infrastructure.

Local governments, transit agencies and others will receive RAISE grants:

  • $25 million to the High-Speed Rail Authority for its Merced Extension design work
  • $23 million to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for complete streets improvements along Howard Street
  • $20 million to the Port of Los Angeles for its Terminal Island Grade Separation
  • $15 million for the Inglewood Transit Connector Project
  • $15 million for the Yuba-Sutter Transit Authority’s Zero-Emission Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility
  • $15 million to the City of Fontana for multi-modal complete street improvements
  • $5 million to the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to plan and design Mobility Zones in the Sacramento Region
  • $1.6 million to the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation for a separated pedestrian and bicycle path across Highway 101 in Del Norte County

“With this influx of federal dollars, we have an incredible opportunity to rebuild California while creating quality jobs, modernizing crucial infrastructure, and accelerating our clean transportation progress, benefiting communities up and down the state,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

“Antonio has the extensive experience and relationships to deliver on this promise and bring together the many partners who will be key to our success. I look forward to his collaboration with the Administration as we build up communities across California.”

Villaraigosa’s role is supported through a partnership with California Forward, which will collaborate with him and members of the administration on local projects.

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