The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have announced the fast tracking of “fix it first” construction work and increased road repairs across the state.
Caltrans is able to jumpstart these road repairs thanks to the passage of the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (Senate Bill 1), recently passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.
Construction will begin this summer on 13 pavement projects across the state. Additionally, Caltrans has expedited the design of an additional 50 projects, which will also begin construction this fiscal year.
List of projects under construction: http://calsta.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2017/07/13-Projects-Underway.pdf
List of expedited projects: http://calsta.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2017/07/50-Projects-Coming-Soon.pdf
“This legislation provides for needed investments to fix California’s roads, and Caltrans is acting quickly to get to work,” Caltrans director Malcolm Dougherty said in a statement. “This summer we will deploy construction teams across the state to resurface highways, improve safety for motorists and start filling more potholes than ever before.”
Caltrans is expediting more than $285 million in road repairs across California months before the revenue from SB 1 even starts to accrue this fall. The road repair projects, will include repairing and resurfacing hundreds of miles of highways to extend the service life of California roads. Caltrans will also improve lane-line visibility and motorist safety with new striping. The new striping will include highly reflective and durable beads, making it easier to see lane demarcations in all weather conditions. In some locations, roads will get completely repaved.
The accelerated construction work is taking place in every Caltrans district in California, and in urban, suburban and rural areas.
SB 1 generates $54 billion over the next decade, split evenly between state and local investments, to fix transportation infrastructure across California. The $5.4 billion-a-year investment will cost most drivers less than $10 a month, and comes with strict new accountability provisions to ensure funds can only be spent on transportation.
SB 1 funds will enable Caltrans to fix more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges, and 55,000 culverts by 2027. Caltrans will also fix 7,700 traffic operating systems, like ramp meters, traffic cameras and electric highway message boards that help reduce highway congestion. When this work is finished, 98 percent of pavement on state facilities will be in good or fair condition, up from 85 percent today.
In addition to the work Caltrans is expediting today, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) and CalSTA are preparing to award SB 1 funds by spring 2018 to competitive transportation grant programs to improve California’s trade corridors, expand public transit systems, provide relief to congested commute corridors and provide state matching funds to help cities and counties build better communities.
“SB 1 dedicates transportation dollars to transportation purposes. With the law in place we can begin to put thousands of people to work rebuilding California and its local communities – that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said CalSTA secretary Brian Kelly. “This investment creates jobs, improves roads and bridges and has strong public accountability.”
Until SB 1 was signed by Governor Brown earlier this year, California had not significantly invested in the state’s transportation infrastructure in 23 years; since then, California’s population has grown by eight million, with millions more vehicles and trucks on the state highway system. Californians also drive more than 350 billion miles a year – more than any other state.