CTC earmarks $2.3B for future state transportation projects

Highway 99 entrances on Paige Avenue - Photo by Rigo Moran

California Transportation Commission approves $2.3 billion for future transportation projects that include projects in Kingsburg, Visalia and Parlier; invests $2 billion to state transportation

SACRAMENTO – The California Transportation Commission recently invested close to $2 billion into improving the state’s transportation infrastructure. Not only that, the commission also approved an additional $2.3 billion for future projects in Fresno and Tulare County areas, including ones in Kingsburg, Visalia and Parlier.

The nearly $2 billion allocation announced on June 29 reflects over $571 million in funding from the 2021 federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and over $257 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

The $2.3 billion for future projects comprises $1.75 billion representing the third funding cycle of programs established by California Senate Bill (SB) 1 and $540 million in active transportation projects sponsored by local metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), charting the course for future allocations.

“SB 1 and IIJA funding are helping rebuild and transform California’s transportation future, and we are putting that investment to work to create a system that allows all of us to travel in an equitable, safe and sustainable way,” Caltrans director Tony Tavares said.

Projects that the commission approved in its nearly $2 billion worth of investments include:

Kingsburg Rumble Strip Project: The $2.4 million project will install centerline rumble strips, replace Transportation Management System (TMS) elements and upgrade striping, pavement markings, and roadside signs to improve safety on State Route 201 (Avenue 400) near Kingsburg from the Fresno County line to Road 56 south of Reedley in Tulare County. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions. IIJA funding allocation is $2.1 million.

Visalia Mall CAPM Project: The $11.8 million project will rehabilitate pavement, upgrade Transportation Management System (TMS) elements, replace signs, and upgrade facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards in Visalia from 0.2 miles south of Caldwell Avenue to the west junction of State Route 198. This project will extend the pavement service life and improve ride quality. IIJA funding allocation: $10.9 million. SB 1 funding allocation is $287,000.

Fresno 168 Culvert Rehab Project: The $17.8 million project will repair and replace culverts on State Route 168 from Fowler Avenue in Clovis to Warbler Lane near Shaver Lake at various locations. SB 1 funding allocation is $3.1 million.

The $1.75 billion for future investments cover three SB 1 competitive grant programs: $1.08 billion for the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP); $532.8 million for the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SCCP); and $142.5 million for the Local Partnership Program (LPP). The programs included, for the first time, input from the new Interagency Equity Advisory Committee in the evaluation of projects. This funding round also marks the first cycle to incorporate all principles of the state’s Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure.

The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funding will go to 26 projects that support infrastructure improvements on corridors that carry a high volume of freight traffic with the goal of increasing efficiency, improving safety and constructing an equitable and sustainable freight system. More than a third (10 of 26) of the TCEP projects include zero-emission technology components to support the deployment of a zero-emission freight transportation system and invest in light, medium and heavy zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

The Solutions for Congested Corridors Program funding will go to 10 projects to achieve a balanced set of transportation, environmental, and community access improvements to reduce congestion throughout the state. All 10 SCCP projects are multimodal, and five include active transportation improvements.

The LPP funding will go to 11 projects that support counties, cities, districts, and regional transportation agencies where voters have approved fees or taxes dedicated solely to transportation.

Local Partnership Program projects in the area include:

$15 million to fund the State Route 99/Caldwell Avenue Interchange in western Visalia. Called the Safety and Multi-Modal Project in Tulare County, it will replace a stop sign-controlled interchange with two roundabouts and a new bridge with bike lanes and sidewalks to allow access across Freeway 99 that currently does not exist.

Caltrans also adopted the 2023 Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Active Transportation Program, totaling $540 million for future investments. The 134 projects approved for funding include a broad range of active transportation infrastructure improvements, including more than 120 miles of new bikeways, 60 miles of new sidewalks, and many other improvements to intersections, crosswalks, shade and signage. More than 90 percent of the funding, $494 million, will fund projects benefiting disadvantaged communities, and $290 million (54 percent) will fund Safe Routes to School projects.

Local MPO active transportation projects include $3 million to fund the Limitless Lane Network project in the city of Parlier (Fresno Council of Governments). This is meant to create protected bikeways, bulb-outs to shorten crossing distances, and shade trees to create a more comfortable place to walk and bike, provide a safe connection to schools and other community resources in the low-income, farmworker community between Selma and Reedley.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” is a once-in-a-generation investment in U.S. infrastructure to improve the sustainability and resiliency of the nation’s energy, water, broadband and transportation systems.

Since November 2021, California has received more than $20 billion in federal infrastructure funding. That includes more than $15.1 billion in federal transportation funding to upgrade the state’s roads, bridges, rail, public transit, airports, electric vehicle charging network, ports and waterways. These transportation investments alone have already created nearly 48,000 jobs.

The influx of federal funding is on top of California’s multiyear infrastructure investments in transit and intercity rail projects, safe walking and biking options, and upgrades to the state’s economy-powering supply chain; in addition to SB 1, which provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually that is shared equally between state and local agencies.

Road projects progress at a faster pace through construction phases based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.

To review the latest news and information on state and federal infrastructure investments, go online to visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov, which contains data on the increased funding. Website visitors can learn more about the different state and federal infrastructure programs, track the amount of funding California is receiving, and find projects on an updated interactive map.

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