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Expressway Funding On Track
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The North County Corridor is making progress at the state level.

While local governments in Stanislaus County, Riverbank, Oakdale and Modesto are being asked to voice support for the proposed route, state legislators offered no opposition last week to the transfer of $91 million for the project and sent on Senate Bill 532 authored by Senator Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, to Gov. Schwarzenegger's desk.

Meanwhile, however, California Department of Transportation officials have postponed community meetings addressing an environmental report from this month to October. The meetings are still tentatively scheduled for Modesto, Oakdale and Del Rio.

The $91 million in state money originally was earmarked for the Oakdale Bypass that was planned to split off SR 120 and loop around Oakdale on the north. Since that 20-year-old project was abandoned, Caltrans has diverted the funds to the proposed North County Corridor, an expressway connecting SR 99 at Salida with SR 120 six miles east of Oakdale by a route running south of Riverbank and Oakdale and north of Modesto.

Residents have been studying how the proposed route will affect their properties, turning up in large numbers to the official meetings, and often expressing opposition.

Following a June meeting in Riverbank which drew several hundred area residents, Caltrans has removed Crawford Road and Amy Avenue neighborhoods just west of Riverbank from the plan.