Landmark Transportation Funding Package Becomes Law

07
May

Landmark Transportation Funding Package Becomes Law

SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, co-authored by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Assemblymember Jim L. Frazier Jr. (D-Discovery Bay), was signed on April 28 by Governor Jerry Brown.

This insures an investment of $52.4 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges across the state. Funds also go toward transit and safety.

“Fixing our roads and improving transportation in the state is critical to California’s economy and our job climate,” said California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg.

Repairs and new projects mean infrastructure jobs for many Californians.

“Safe and smooth roads make California a better place to live and strengthen our economy,” said Governor Brown. “This legislation will put thousands of people to work.”

The new funding allows Caltrans to make major repairs to California’s transportation infrastructure over the next 10 years including:

  • 17,000 miles of pavement
  • 500 bridges
  • 55,000 culverts

The package also provides roughly double what was provided by Proposition 1B in 2006. Funds will be split equally between state and local investments, including:

Fix Local Streets and Transportation Infrastructure:

  • $15 billion in “Fix-It-First” local road repairs, including fixing potholes
  • $7.5 billion to improve local public transportation
  • $2 billion to support local “self-help” communities that are making their own investments in transportation improvements
  • $1 billion to improve infrastructure that promotes walking and bicycling—double the existing funding levels
  • $825 million for the State Transportation Improvement Program local contribution
  • $250 million in local transportation planning grants

Fix State Highways and Transportation Infrastructure:

  • $15 billion in “Fix-it-First” highway repairs, including smoother pavement
  • $4 billion in bridge and culvert repairs
  • $3 billion to improve trade corridors
  • $2.5 billion to reduce congestion on major commute corridors
  • $1.4 billion in other transportation investments, including $275 million for highway and intercity-transit improvements

The legislative package will cost most drivers less than $10 a month and includes strict accountability provisions to ensure the funds can only be spent on transportation. To make sure this happens, strong accountability measures are also part of the package. These include:

  • Constitutional amendment, SCA 5 for voter approval on the June 2018 ballot, to prohibit spending the funds on anything but transportation
  • Inspector General to ensure Caltrans and any entities receiving state transportation funds spend taxpayer dollars efficiently, effectively and in compliance with state and federal requirements
  • Provision that empowers the California Transportation Commission to hold state and local government accountable for making the transportation improvements they commit to delivering
  • Authorization for the California Transportation Commission to review and allocate Caltrans funding and staffing for highway maintenance to ensure those levels are reasonable and responsible
  • Authorization for Caltrans to complete earlier mitigation of environmental impacts from construction, a policy that will reduce costs and delays while protecting natural resources.

Californians will soon see the impact of this comprehensive funding package on local streets, roads and public transit. Throughout the state, communities benefit from the first major investment in the state’s transportation infrastructure in 23 years.

Source: Governor’s press release

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