The California Transportation Commission has approved $2 billion for 56 new infrastructure projects across the state, which the commission says will create more than 100,000 jobs over the next several years. Funding comes from three programs created by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – the state gas tax legislation that is investing $54 billion in California’s transportation infrastructure. Approximately 60% of the approved funding was awarded to projects in Southern California.
“These projects are going to benefit California in multiple important ways,” Commission Chair Hilary Norton said. “From an economic perspective, they will move people and goods more efficiently while creating over 100,000 jobs during one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history. From a climate perspective, they will move us toward a more inter-connected and multimodal transportation system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
The projects focus on reducing traffic, improving goods movement, increasing transit service, expanding managed lanes, and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funds infrastructure improvements on significant trade corridors that have a high volume of freight movement. The program will fund improvements to a section of I-10 in Yucaipa, San Bernardino County, which carries 120,000 vehicles per day, including more than 19,000 trucks. The project will add a truck-climbing lane to reduce congestion.
This program is also supporting a bridge-widening project at the US-Mexico border in Imperial County. The bridge at the Calexico East Land Port of Entry, which links Imperial County to Mexicali, will be widened to add four northbound lanes; two for trucks and two for passenger vehicles. These improvements will reduce delays at the border by enabling truckers and motorists to access inspection booths more swiftly.
The Solutions for Congested Corridors Program funds projects designed to reduce congestion in the state through transportation, environmental and community access improvements. The program will support a project to establish express lanes on I-105 in Los Angeles County. Spanning fewer than 20 miles, I-105 sees heavy traffic volumes due to its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport. The project will convert an existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane into a high-occupancy toll lane (HOT) and add striping to accommodate a second HOT lane in each direction. The improvements are projected to increase vehicle throughput in the HOT lanes by 71%.
The Local Partnership Program provides funding to counties, cities and districts in which voters have approved fees or taxes dedicated solely to transportation improvements. Approved projects are a mix of improvements for local roads, transit, complete streets, and active transportation. San Diego County will receive funding for an active transportation program known as “Bike Up and Down in Uptown.” The project will bring bikeways, traffic calming, and bus and pedestrian connections to San Diego’s Uptown district. Funding will also help Los Angeles County Metro implement speed and reliability improvements for its NextGen Transit First Service Plan. Benefits of the improvements include travel time savings for Metro’s customers and reduced emissions.