Bay Area communities had been hoping for some relief from traffic on some of the area’s most congested freeways. But now that the state will cancel the sale of its transportation bonds, those projects will stop before the first shovel of dirt was moved.

More than a dozen projects will now be mothballed, including carpool and merging lanes on some of the area’s most-used freeways.

The sudden halt comes during the largest boom in infrastructure building seen in the last two decades. Fueled by stimulus money, a 2006 bond measure, and a construction industry cutting profit margins to deliver low bids, some seem to worry that this delay could lead to more and longer delays in the next several years.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Work was to have begun this summer on widening Highway 101 from Mountain View to the San Mateo County line, bringing much-needed relief to one of the Bay Area’s most difficult commutes.

Not anymore.

More than a dozen road projects scheduled to be under construction this year in the Bay Area will be delayed, as the state is expected to cancel the sale of transportation bonds approved by voters in 2006. It’s an attempt to save about $175 million in debt payments to reduce California’s $26.6 billion deficit, and it will mark the second time the issuance of bonds has been halted in the past six months.

“We’ve got these projects ready for construction,” said John Ristow, head of the Valley Transportation Authority’s highway program, “and now they sit while the state fiddles.”

Read the full article here.