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Budget Cuts Could Hurt Public Transportation

California€™s budget crisis means billions of dollars for new roads and railroads could disappear.

BART to San Jose could be delayed, key road projects are suddenly without funding, and money for transit service is headed for the chopping block.

However, the New Year will bring some hope for Bay Area motorists. The biggest bottlenecks in the region are scheduled to be unplugged.

BART spokesman Mike Healy says the BART extension to San Francisco International Airport is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of the year. It´s expected to ease traffic on James Lick Freeway.

The new Eastern span of the San Mateo Bridge should be open in March. Highway 101 north of Morgan Hill will go from six to eight lanes by April. Widening of the I-880 bottleneck in San Jose is set to be completed by fall. And converting the Guadalupe Parkway into the northern section of Highway 87 may be done by the end of the year.

When the projects are complete, transportation officials say the focus will change from adding new roads and adding extra lanes to freeways to fixing dozens of 1950´s style interchanges.