SUPPORT - City of Paso Robles Fiscal Year 2024 Federal Appropriations Request - State Route 46 Corridor Mobility Improvement Project
February 27, 2023
The Honorable Alex Padilla
United States Senate
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Support for the City of Paso Robles Fiscal Year 2024 Federal Appropriations Request
Dear Senators Padilla and Feinstein,
The Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce supports the City of Paso Robles' community project request for which they are seeking funding. The Chamber represents over 850 members encompassing numerous industries from wine and tourism to insurance and
medical services. The Chamber's focus is to strengthen the economic health and prosperity of our businesses and residents. The Route 46 corridor Mobility Improvement Project is paramount to the continued economic strength of Paso Robles and the surrounding communities and substantially.
The City of Paso Robles is requesting $1,800,000 to fully fund the design phase of the State Route 46 Corridor Mobility Improvement Project. The project will construct an interchange along a busy corridor providing safety and mobility enhancements for trucks, bicyclists, tourists, and
commuters, while concurrently improving goods movement throughput within the Central Coast and Central Valley regions of California. This request will match other funding sources previously earmarked for a portion of the design work and build upon the local funds the City has committed to secure the right of way for the project.
State Route 46 East has federal, state, regional, and local significance given that it is a heavily traveled goods movement and tourism corridor. The route connects the state to the three main north-south highways - US 101, State Route 99, and Interstate 5 - and is the only major eastwest goods movement corridor between Ventura and Gilroy (274 miles). The route supports the $7 billion of annual goods shipments, accounting for 575,000 jobs in the region. SR 46 supports the $5 billion Central Coast tourism industry serving national and international travelers across multiple coastal counties. The route is also used to facilitate strategic military movements to and from Camp San Luis Obispo, Camp Roberts, and Fort Hunter Liggett.
The project would build an overcrossing allowing for the city to create parallel local routes to remove local traffic off SR 46, creating more room for commercial trucks, and multi-modal options through the development of bike and pedestrian trails within the City of Paso Robles.
The state has invested nearly $700 million in the corridor to eliminate head-on collisions on SR 46, which has experienced several fatal collisions that exceed the state average. The project provides an immediate safety and mobility enhancement for residents, tourists, and commuters,
while concurrently improving goods movement throughput. East-west connectors such as SR 46 are vital to facilitating commerce, especially with the focus on constructing inland ports to
accommodate supply chain needs. The Governor's current budget includes $1.2 billion for siting inland ports in the San Joaquin Valley, which will further emphasize the need to address east west connector, such as SR 46 to help facilitate goods movement.
US 101, which is the Central Coast's equivalent of "main street," is a critical arterial for most of the region, a lifeline and evacuation route, and is integral for interstate commerce. As experienced multiple times in 2023 alone, when Interstate 5 closes due to inclement weather over the Grapevine, US 101 becomes the only-north-south arterial in the state. SR 46 provides the most direct route to and from US 101 during the closure events, which amplifies the unsafe conditions and outdated infrastructure along this corridor.
The design and completion of this project is critical for Paso Robles and the surrounding communities and will provide long term benefits to residents, businesses, and visitors of the region. For these reasons, the Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce asks that you strongly consider the City's request for funding. Thank you for your time and for considering the request. If you have any questions please contact Amy Russell, Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs liaison by phone at (805) 434-8383 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gina Fitzpatrick President/CEO
Paso Robles and Templeton Chamber of Commerce
An identical letter was also sent to:
Congressman Jimmy Panetta
304 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515