By Jake Lee Green
Kern Valley Sun
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) acquired more than $200 million in December 2019 for twenty-seven fix-it-first projects concerning highways and $42 million towards transit, bike, and pedestrian projects. These projects are partially funded by money allocated through Senate Bill 1 (SB1); the Road and Repair Accountability Act of 2017.
Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said, “Californians expect their transportation system to be well maintained, efficient, and multimodal. This funding will keep us safely moving motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users across the state.”
This State Highway Operation and Protection Plan (SHOPP), comprising of twenty-seven SB 1 funded projects, will replace or make improvements upon 305 lane miles, 204 traffic congestion reduction devices, 27 bridges, and will repair 32 culverts for flood prevention of highways. SHOPP funds safety improvements, repairs, preservation, and highway upgrades and is the state highway system’s “fix-it-first” program. A great deal of funding is provided by SB 1 to SHOPP.
One of the major projects included in the SB 1 funding is the drainage projects along state routes 99, 198, and 204. These routes in Kings and Kern Counties will be outfitted with an $11.5 million drainage project and will upgrade the pumping plants at nine of the locations. Locations included are along SR-99 where it joins with SR-119, the overcrossings at Planz Road, Palm Avenue, Woollomes Avenue, 11th Avenue, Cecil Avenue, and SR-155. SR-204 at Union Avenue in Kern County and SR-198 at Brown Street Overcrossing in Kings Canyon will also be receiving the upgrade.
A budget of $6.1 million will help to fund the installation of Transportation Management Systems at varying locations throughout Kern, Tulare, Kings, Madera, and Fresno counties.
Approval for $42 million on behalf of the CTC will help fund 35 locally administered Active Transportation Program (ATP) projects. SB 1 helped to fund $8.3 million in funding to sixteen of those projects that include maintenance and improvement of sidewalks and bicycle lanes. In addition, money will also go to providing safer routes to school for children who utilize foot and bicycle as their primary method of transportation.
The Local Partnership Program (LPP) was allocated more than $21 million from SB 1 funds to help match investments in road and transit that local communities have voted upon in their region through approved transportation tax measures.
As of April 2017, when SB 1 was signed into law, Caltrans has made repairs upon or replaced 299 bridges and has paved close to 2,400 miles of highway in the state of California. As of December 2019, 176 projects, out of 455 approved projects funded by SB 1, has been completed by Caltrans.
Approximately $5 billion per year is invested into transit, fixing roads, freeways, and bridges in California communities on behalf of SB 1. State and local projects are split equally which will allow Caltrans to make improvements upon more than 17,000 miles of pavement, 500 bridges, and 55,000 culverts throughout the state of California’s highway system by 2027.
For more information on SB 1, please visit http://www.rebuildingca.ca.gov or http://www.dot.ca.gov/paffairs/social-media.html.