The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has adopted 27 projects, valued at nearly $154 million, to support needed upkeep on California’s aging roads and bridges, alleviate traffic delays and encourage use of alternative forms of transportation, including biking, walking and transit.
“Caltrans is making sure every dollar counts when it comes to building California’s transportation infrastructure: repairing aging freeways, making highways and bridges safer and promoting bicycling and walking,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “All these investments will benefit Californians now and for decades to come.”
The newly allocated funding includes $25.5 million from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for five “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 California’s highways more than any other state.
The allocations also include $53.3 million from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. To date, more than $18 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide for transportation purposes.
Other allocations include:
• $42.8 million for Transit and Intercity Rail Program projects; and
• $2.5 million towards Active Transportation Program projects – just the most recent active transportation investment as part of the nation’s largest program of its kind; and
• $1.2 million for five capital improvement projects both on and off the state highway system as part of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
The remaining funding allocations came from assorted transportation accounts funded by state and federal dollars.
Among the projects that received funding allocations were:
Stanislaus County: $246,000 to the Stanislaus Council of Governments for regional transportation and project planning, program development and project monitoring.
The Commission also approved the 2015-16 STIP Allocation Plan. Due to the decrease in revenue from the price-based excise tax on gasoline, approximately $150 million in STIP projects that were programmed in FY 2015-16 may not have funds allocated in the current year.
The price-based excise tax replaced the statewide sales tax on gasoline and its rate is adjusted annually by the California Board of Equalization (for 2015-16, the rate is 12 cents per gallon, down from 18 cents the previous fiscal year). The revenue is used to backfill weight fees that are diverted to the Transportation Debt Service Fund. After backfilling weight fees, the remaining funds are allocated between local agencies (44 percent), new construction projects (STIP, 44 percent) and highway maintenance and operations (SHOPP, 12 percent).