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California passes law to spend $52.4 billion on infrastructure

News | May 1, 2017 | By:

Gov. Jerry Brown gives remarks on infrastructure law. Photo courtesy of John Larimore, Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Gov. Jerry Brown gives remarks on infrastructure law. Photo courtesy of John Larimore, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a package of legislation to improve transportation and create jobs in communities across California.

“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.’

SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, coauthored by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Assemblymember Jim L. Frazier Jr. (D-Discovery Bay), invests $52.4 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways, and bridges in communities across the state and put more dollars toward transit and safety.

“For too long we have neglected our state and local transportation needs,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “Our roads are falling apart and our bridges are in desperate need of repair. . . . Transportation is integral to our quality of life and SB 1 is the comprehensive funding package that will help repair our state highways and local streets and roads, while also expanding our travel options with funding for public transit.”

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. The new funding will allow Caltrans to make major repairs to California’s transportation infrastructure including 17,000 miles of pavement, 500 bridges, and 55,000 culverts over the next ten years. The package will also fund huge investments in repairing local streets and roads. The package also provides historic levels of public transportation funding—roughly double what was provided by Proposition 1B in 2006.

The following funds will be split equally between state and local investments over a ten-year horizon:

Fix Local Streets and Transportation Infrastructure (50 percent):

  • $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 (50 percent):

  • $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

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