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Caltrans Breaks Ground On Bridge, Unveils New Signs

Tue May 02, 2023 - West Edition #10

Six state and local officials dig dirt with ceremonial shovels behind the new “California 99” State Highway Route sign.
(Caltrans photo)
Six state and local officials dig dirt with ceremonial shovels behind the new “California 99” State Highway Route sign. (Caltrans photo)
Six state and local officials dig dirt with ceremonial shovels behind the new “California 99” State Highway Route sign.
(Caltrans photo) Caltrans Director Tony Tavares (L) and California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin unveil a project sign with the new Rebuilding California logo on it.
(Caltrans photo)

Caltrans recently unveiled new "Rebuilding CA" highway signs that will highlight the record levels of state and federal infrastructure funding being put to work on projects statewide to create a safer, more sustainable and more resilient transportation system.

The sign unveiling took place as Caltrans and local partners broke ground on a $36.8 million project to replace three aging bridges on State Route 99 in Madera County made possible by $26 million in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 and $10 million from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

"With unprecedented infrastructure investments at the state and federal level — along with the necessary policy alignment — California is making once-in-a-generation upgrades to our transportation system up and down our state," said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin. "These new signs, starting with this important project in Madera County, will serve as reminders that we're Rebuilding California for a safer, cleaner, more equitable and more prosperous future for all Californians."

"President Biden signing the federal infrastructure funding law ushered in a new era of transformative investments for transportation projects across the country, and this critical project is just one example of the impact it is having in California," said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares.

The IIJA, also known as the "Bipartisan Infrastructure Law," is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation's infrastructure and competitiveness. California receives federal infrastructure funding based on formula and competitive grants. Based on formula funding alone, the IIJA will bring California an estimated $41.9 billion over five years.

This is the first major update to California's highway construction signs in six years and there are no additional costs associated with the new signs. Caltrans will not replace current construction signs and will only install the new signs on future projects, maintaining a common element in the state's highway work zones.

Since November 2021, California has received nearly $19 billion in federal infrastructure funding. That includes $14.8 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 more than 42,000 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 through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.

To provide Californians with the latest news and information on state and federal infrastructure investments, Caltrans expanded — the website tracking the progress of SB 1 — to contain data on the increased federal funding. Website visitors can learn more about the different federal infrastructure programs, track the amount of funding California is receiving and find projects on an updated interactive map.

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