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The California Transportation Commission allocated $ 924 million for critical infrastructure projects at its last meeting.
The independent agency is responsible for allocating state and state transportation for highway, rail, transit, and aviation purposes.
“[The California Department of Transportation] is building a brighter future with a transportation network that serves all Californians, ”said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This significant investment will help us strengthen and improve our state’s vast network of highways, bridges, transit facilities, bike lanes and pedestrian paths.”
Almost half of the investment, $ 458 million, was backed by Senate Bill 1, also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. This legislation, which included an increase in fuel tax rates, is expected to raise $ 54 billion over the next decade to repair roads, highways and bridges, and to aid transit and security.
The current excise tax rates in California are 38.5 cents per gallon for diesel and 50.5 cents per gallon for gasoline.
The projects supported by this funding announcement represent different modes in communities across the state. In Coachella, a truck climbing lane will be built to the east and a temporary detour will be set up in the median for the flow of traffic. Coachella is located about 100 miles north of the Mexican border on Interstate 10, which stretches across the southern United States from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida and serves as a major freight conduit.
A truck travels on Highway 58 in Bakersfield, California, the county seat of Kern County. (Epic Flightz via YouTube)
Approximately $ 15.9 million will be used to rehabilitate part of State Route 119 in Kern County. Work includes reconstructing tour guides, widening junctions and shoulders, adding bike lanes, installing drainage holes, and upgrading ramps in accordance with the Disabled Americans Act.
Kern County, about 130 miles north of Los Angeles, is larger than Connecticut and Delaware combined. Agriculture is an important industry. According to the Agricultural Crop Report of the Kern County Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards, almonds, grapes, citrus fruits, pistachios, milk and carrots are among the most important raw materials.
Next-level technologies have the potential to improve safety and efficiency in transportation. However, it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to turn these ideas from concept to reality. We speak to Christoph Mertz from the Robotics Institute in Carnegie Mellon and Huei Peng from the University of Michigan. Listen to an excerpt above and visit RoadSigns.TTNews.com for the full program.
In Sacramento, US $ 27.5 million was allocated for a project to clean and paint steel bridge girders between I-5 and US Route 50. The process is intended to prevent oxidation of the steel girders and extend the life of the bridges. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association reports that around 6% of California’s bridges are classified as structurally deficient.
A partnership between Long Beach Transit and the University of California-Los Angeles has spent $ 6.5 million to procure five zero-emission battery-electric buses and to set up a charging infrastructure. The aim is to create an emission-free commuter route between the Long Beach area and the university.
Approximately $ 28 million will be used to support a project to expand and upgrade facilities to the north and south of the Erreca John “Chuck” rest area in Firebaugh on I-5. The rest area is about 130 miles south of San Francisco.
In Tuolumne County, $ 17 million is being used to renovate sidewalks, upgrade guardrails and drainage systems, access maintenance vehicles, and transportation management systems. Tuolumne County is home to the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park.
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