Caltrans Allocates Half a Billion Dollars to Upgrade Transportation

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated $510 million to 83 transportation projects that will put people to work improving the state’s highways, bridges, and public transit. One of the highlights of the meeting was the CTC revising its funding estimate upward for the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for the 2014-15 fiscal year from $2.2 billion to approximately $2.4 billion. The revision was in response to the new state budget, which provides $351 million in new transportation funding through the early repayment of loans made to the General Fund.

The new funding includes $210 million for the SHOPP, which pays for transportation safety projects, pavement repair and preservation work, and upgrades bridges; $27 million for Caltrans maintenance projects; $100 million for city and county transportation; $9 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects under California’s new Active Transportation Program; and $5 million to mitigate environmental effects of proposed transportation improvements.

The $510 million in CTC funding allocations include nearly $163 million for “fix it first” projects that will repair bumpy pavement, preserve roads that are in good condition from deteriorating and upgrade bridges to make them safer and stronger. Most of California’s highways are more than a half-century old, and they carry nearly half of the nation’s container freight – heavy loads that pound our highways more than any other state.

“To get the most bang for the buck for taxpayers, Caltrans targets dollars where they are most effective - pavement preservation,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “Every $1 spent on preventive pavement maintenance saves Californians $11 that would have been spent on expensive pavement repairs.”

The allocations also include $104 million from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. To date, more than $17 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide for transportation purposes.

Here are some of the significant projects that will improve and/or preserve California’s valuable investments in its transportation system that received allocations:

Tehama County -- $6 million was allocated to rehabilitate and rebuild both the northbound and southbound Safety Roadside Rest Areas near the city of Corning on Interstate 5. The rehabilitation will also bring the rest areas up to current ADA standards and provide reliable and safe locations for the travelling public and those moving goods in and through California.
Various Counties -- $2.8 million was allocated for the installation of lighting and other improvements at chain control locations in Plumas, Siskiyou, and Trinity Counties. The additional lighting, wider areas and pavement will enhance and improve workers safety at these areas.

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