• State Budget Update

    November 30, 2015

    (Mark Watts, Transportation California) On June 15, the Legislature approved AB 93, the 2015 State Budget Act. The overall State General Fund expenditure plan for 2015-16 reflected in the bill amounts to $117 billion… Read more

    CA State Budget

  • Atkins: A Steady Force as Assembly Speaker

    November 30, 2015

    In her first year as Speaker of the California Assembly, Toni Atkins has won praise from colleagues both inside and away from the Capitol…  Read more

    Speaker of the State Assembly Toni Atkins is greeted by participants at the annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on May 21,2015. — Peggy Peattie

    Speaker of the State Assembly Toni Atkins is greeted by participants at the annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on May 21,2015. — Peggy Peattie

  • How a Decaying Infrastructure Hurts U.S. Manufacturing

    November 30, 2015

    WSJ – Make or buy all that you want in the U.S., but if the transportation system doesn’t work, your business will suffer.  Read more

    Aged concrete can be seen as a car drives under the I-95/495 inner loop bridge on the Suitland Parkway in Forestville, Md. The bridge is one of 61,000 bridges across America that the Department of Transportation said were structurally deficient and in need of repair. —MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

    Aged concrete can be seen as a car drives under the I-95/495 inner loop bridge on the Suitland Parkway in Forestville, Md. The bridge is one of 61,000 bridges across America that the Department of Transportation said were structurally deficient and in need of repair. —MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

  • Gas Tax Debated as Monterey County Roads Crumble

    November 30, 2015

    The California Transportation Commission said when it comes to funding road improvements, the gas tax just isn’t providing enough revenue. Click to view video!

    Monterey County Gas Tax Debated

     

  • New Mileage Tax to Pay for Roads

    November 30, 2015

    State officials have begun to seriously study a plan to replace California’s gas tax with a fee for each mile motorists drive. Click to view video!

    New Mileage Tax to Pay for Roads Video

     

  • Alliance Video Shows Why State Must Invest in Fixing California’s Deteriorating Roads

    May 22, 2015

    Just about every California driver has hit a pothole at some point, and for most of us it’s an expensive annoyance to repair.  Read more…  Click below to video view!

  • Highways and Railroads: Detours & Delays

    November 30, 2015

    As Memorial Day kicks off another travel season, millions of Americans will find that transportation infrastructure is on the decline. Roads and bridges are crumbing, while Congress, mired in long-running disagreements over funding for the Highway Trust Fund and railroad safety, passes short-term funding that delays long-term repairs and construction.  Listen to the latest from KCRW.

     

  • Two Months Is Too Little When It Comes To Transportation Infrastructure Funding

    November 30, 2015

    What is a little more waiting going to matter, when one considers we have been waiting for a new multi-year surface transportation reauthorization for more than six years? Read more

    Two Months is too Late graphic

     

  • Caltrans Releases Plans Detailing Critical Infrastructure

    November 30, 2015

    Funding Shortfalls Facing California’s Highway System.  According to projections detailed in plans released, Caltrans will need approximately $80 billion over the next ten years to address current and future needs of the state highway system—a projected funding shortfall of nearly $60 billion with available revenue.

    The 2015 Ten-Year State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) Plan outlines a strategy for improving roads, addressing major rehabilitation work on the state highway system and supporting Caltrans’ sustainability goal through projects that bring long-lasting and smart mobility improvements. The plan identifies approximately $8 billion annually needed to fund these necessary improvements and preventative maintenance activities over the next ten years. However, in light of a shortfall of approximately $5.7 billion per year in funding, the plan warns that the state highway system will deteriorate and necessitate much more expensive remedies in the future.

    “This funding shortfall presents a serious challenge to Caltrans and this state’s transportation system,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “At Caltrans, we have a “fix it first” mentality, putting transportation dollars where they can be most cost-effective: on preventative maintenance to our existing infrastructure. Our maintenance dollars can only go so far, however, and California is facing much more expensive repairs to its infrastructure in the future due to a growing backlog of necessary repairs.

    Excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel are the primary revenue source for Caltrans, funding the maintenance and operation of the state highway system as well as the administration of the department. These revenues are declining as a result of reduced fuel consumption due to more energy-efficient vehicles and increased alternative fuel use. California is currently evaluating funding alternatives which may include increasing the gas tax or registration fees, or switching to a mileage-based fee structure.

    The State Highway Operation and Protection Program primarily funds rehabilitation projects and capital improvements along the state highway system that do not add capacity to the system. Projects largely involve pavement and structure/bridge rehabilitation, but also encompass safety and some types of mobility improvements as well as emergency repair. The SHOPP is based on a ten-year plan (today’s released document) that identifies performance goal-based needs over a ten-year period, with the plan updated every two years.

    Caltrans’ Maintenance Program also preserves California’s transportation infrastructure through preventative maintenance and repair of the state highway system. Proper maintenance, as detailed in the 2015 Five-Year Maintenance Plan (also released today), can reduce the amount of the more expensive rehabilitation work done by the SHOPP.

    Caltrans constructs, operates and maintains more than 50,000 lane miles of the State Highway System, the core of California’s complex, multi-modal transportation system. This includes more than 13,000 bridges and structures, 30,000 acres of roadside landscaping, 205,000 culverts and drainage facilities and 87 roadside rest areas. The department’s transportation infrastructure also includes maintenance stations, equipment shops, traffic management centers, transportation materials laboratories and testing facilities and office buildings. Much of this system is over half a century old, built in the 1950s through early 1970s, to serve California’s growing population and expanding economy.

    The 2015 Ten-Year SHOPP Plan can be accessed at http://www.dot.ca.gov/docs/2015_Ten-Year_SHOPP.pdf and the 2015 Five-Year Maintenance Plan at http://www.dot.ca.gov/docs/2015_Five-Year_Maintenance_Plan.pdf.

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  • Major State Senate Transportation Funding Proposal Moves Forward Today

    November 30, 2015

    by Mark Watts.  The Senate Governance & Finance Committee today approved Senate Bill 16, a comprehensive transportation funding package which provides $3 billion – $3.5 billion annually to state and local highway and roadway preservation and repair over the next five years.

    SB 16, authored by Senate Transportation & Housing Chair Jim Beall, would generate new revenue for transportation by increasing several taxes and fees for the next five years.  Specifically, this bill would:

    • Recapture truck weight fees from transportation bond debt service for safety projects and highway repairs;
    • Raise the excise tax on gasoline by 10 cents in year one;
    • Raise the excise tax on diesel fuel by 12 cents in year one;
    • Raise vehicle license fees by .35% over five years;
    • Raise vehicle registration fees by $35;
    • Establish a new vehicle registration fee of $100 for zero-emission vehicles; and
    • Repay transportation loans.

    Speaker Atkins and Assembly Democrats Weigh in on Addressing State and Local Transportation Repair Needs

    Late yesterday, Assembly Speaker Atkins discussed the budget priorities for 2015-16. She highlighted the work she has been coordinating with Assembly Transportation Chair Jim Frazier and said:

    “Assembly Democrats will provide a ‘down-payment’ on the Speaker’s $2 billion transportation plan by returning most, if not all, the Truck Weight Fees to be used for roadway preservation and maintenance.”