On Oct. 19, 2017, at a meeting in Modesto, Calif., the California Transportation Commission issued a call for projects under the state Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, also known as Senate Bill 1 or SB 1. The commission adopted lists of active transportation projects, advanced funding for state highway repairs, and approved guidelines for two new programs, including the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which will receive $1.34 billion in funding over the next three years. That package, which uses state and federal funding, includes $794 million from SB 1, will upgrade the state’s freight transportation system, and reduce adverse impacts on communities and the environment.
“Freight is the economy in motion. Goods movement generates about a third of California’s $2.2 trillion economy and more than 5 million jobs are in freight-dependent industries,” said Commissioner Fran Inman, noting that California is the nation’s largest gateway for international trade and domestic commerce.
Corridor-based freight transportation projects are now open, and all project applications are due by Jan. 30, 2018. The commission anticipates that it will adopt the selected projects on May 16, 2018.
Priorities for these projects include improvements to highways for more efficient movement of freight; improvements to the freight rail system; increasing the capacity and efficiency of ports; upgrades to truck corridors, such as dedicated truck facilities; upgrades to border-access points; and improvements to local roads and intermodal facilities to move goods at California ports.
Other significant announcements from the commission’s October 19 meeting include:
- Adopted guidelines for the distribution of $500 million through SB 1’s Local Partnership Program. This program provides funding to cities, counties and a handful of transit agencies that have passed a tax solely committed to transportation funding. There is a formulaic program based on population and revenue, and a competitive grant program. Project applications for formulaic program grants are due Dec. 15, 2017, while applications for competitive grants are due Jan. 30, 2018.
- Approved $846 million to accelerate 90 new projects from the 2018 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. These projects are being accelerated due to the funding that will soon be available from the passage of SB 1 and emphasize the state’s commitment to using SB 1 funding to strengthen California’s critical transportation infrastructure.
- Committed $117 million for 63 projects in the Active Transportation Program, encouraging motorists to get out of their vehicles and use active alternatives to reduce noise and air pollution, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
- Amended the commission’s existing Local Streets and Roads Annual Reporting Guidelines to reflect recent changes in statutes. This program makes available an estimated $1.5 billion to every city and county in California for local road repairs and improvements, essentially doubling the amount of state funding flowing to locals prior to SB 1.
Senate Bill 1, signed into law on April 28, 2017, invests $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges, and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. For complete details on SB 1, visit http://www.rebuildingca.ca.gov/.
More information about the California Transportation Commission may be found at http://www.catc.ca.gov/.