A House subcommittee Thursday gave its approval to a national transportation bill that includes $15 million to help pay for a massive parking structure the Walt Disney Co. says is central to its plans to expand Disneyland.
The unanimous voice vote means the funds have cleared the first of many hurdles before the money reaches Orange County hands. But the endorsement of the House Public Works and Transportation subcommittee bestows a sort of blessing on the $15 million and sends a green light signaling the rest of Congress to approve the bill.
The federal money would help build a 12,000-space garage that would allow Disneyland to remain open while the $3-billion Westcot construction is underway. Disney has not yet committed to building Westcot, but has said the parking garage--which would be one of the largest in the nation--is crucial if Westcot is ever to be constructed.
The federal funds would also pay for special car-pool lanes at the interchange of the San Diego and Costa Mesa freeways.