Pothole relief funds may be on the way to the South Bay

Santa Clara County residents may soon get some relief for their pothole pain. 

On Wednesday, officials with the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) starting handing out checks from the long-awaited Measure B funds. 

The money will ultimately go toward transportation projects of all kinds. But the hope is to start filling those potholes right away.

Clare McIntyre says she'd be grateful since the potholes on Bird Avenue in San Jose are nearly unavoidable.   

She says, "You snake down. To miss the potholes you literally have to snake down the street."

But relief may be on the horizon, thanks to Measure B.

Holly Perez, a VTA spokesperson says, "We've been waiting two years. The money's been tied up in escrow and now we're going to give that money to the projects that need it here in Santa Clara County."

Voters approved the half cent sales tax back in 2016 but a legal challenge over ballot language tied the issue up in court.

Eventually, the lawsuit was found to be without merit. That means now VTA can start handing out checks. And so today, that's what they did.

Cities in Santa Clara County got their share of what's been collected so far. San Jose's cut is $4.6 million to start.

Jim Ortbal, San Jose deputy city manager says, "We haven't had this type of funding to take care of our streets for many years. This is the type of investment that's going to enable us to take care of our major streets, our local streets. It's going to be a game changer for the city of San Jose."

In addition to pothole pain, the money will go to VTA and Caltrain as well as to highways and bikeways. 

Measure B is expected to generate $6.3 billion dollars over 30 years. To date, about $360 million has been collected.