Caltrans Tabs Small Business Participation for Projects

Wed November 28, 2007 - West Edition

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Nov. 5 authorized 13 emergency contracts with a total value of $17.05 million for essential work related to the recent firestorms in Southern California. Small businesses will receive 45 percent of their total value.

One of the small businesses is Blaisdell Construction, which will repair fire damage, clear drainage systems, and perform debris removal and erosion control around Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County, as quickly as possible.

“Small businesses are important contributors to California’s economy,” said Caltrans Director Will Kempton. “I am pleased that we are able to employ them to help the state recover from these fires.”

The other certified small businesses include Pacific Restoration, which will perform erosion control around State Routes 76 and 78 and Interstate 15 in San Diego County. Diversified Landscape will do the same in Orange County. Their work will include hydro-seeding to regenerate vegetation on hillsides, before the rainy season begins. The roots of plants help to hold soil in place and prevent erosion and mudslides.

Union Engineering will clear drains and remove debris from the fires in Ventura County.

Due to the State of Emergency declared by Governor Schwarzenegger on Oct. 21, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is likely to reimburse nearly 100 percent of the cost of this fire-related work. The FHWA has been on-scene, responsive, and helpful throughout the fire incidents.

Executive Order S-02-06, issued by the Governor, requires all state agencies to dedicate 25 percent of all procurement dollars to certified small businesses. By awarding 45 percent of $17.05 million in emergency contracts to small businesses, Caltrans is following the Governor’s direction as embodied in the Executive Order.