Business, Transportation and Housing (BTH) Agency Secretary Dale E. Bonner and California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Secretary Linda Adams announced that an unprecedented $3 billion transportation program — which will expedite goods movement, ease traffic congestion and improve air quality — has been approved by the California Transportation Commission (CTC).
Funding for 79 goods movement projects statewide will be provided by the Trade Corridors Improvement Fund (TCIF), a key element of Proposition 1B, the $19.9 billion voter-approved transportation bond. TCIF will pay for vital infrastructure improvements along transportation corridors that have a high volume of freight movement.
“It is important that we continue investing in the state’s infrastructure in a way that improves the overall quality of life for all Californians,” said Secretary Bonner. “The CTC has approved a balanced package of projects, which is highly consistent with Governor Schwarzenegger’s vision as set forth in the Administration’s Goods Movement Action Plan [GMAP].”
The GMAP, published in January 2007 by the CalEPA and BTH was the culmination of a 2-year effort that included input from hundreds of stakeholders with many different perspectives, yielding analyses and recommendations for improving the movement of goods while reducing environmental impacts in California.
The plan calls for a safe goods movement system that supports jobs and economic prosperity while improving the environment and quality of life for communities within California’s goods movement corridors.
The projects included in the TCIF program adopted April 10 were among the approximately 200 high priority projects originally identified in the GMAP.
“These vital goods movement projects will prove once again that California can advance its economic and environmental goals together,” said Adams. “In addition, each project will go through its own environmental permitting process to ensure the public health and air quality in local communities are protected.”
BTH and CalEPA have partnered to bring various stakeholders together to discuss and address the important issues regarding the goals of TCIF.
In 2007, Bonner worked collaboratively with key regional leaders representing the trade corridors and led a series of public meetings around the state to gather public input on the TCIF program.
He encouraged the CTC to act expeditiously to adopt a program, so that the system-wide economic, environmental and transportation benefits could be realized as quickly as possible.
“Our work is not complete. The GMAP identified nearly $50 billion in need and we will continue to look to other resources, including help from the federal government and opportunities for public-private partnerships through performance-based infrastructure,” Bonner added.
The goods movement industry is a vital component of the state’s economy.
“California’s economy moves through its transportation system of highways, rail, airports and seaports,” said Bonner. “This investment will help secure California’s future as a gateway to the nation’s commerce, stimulate our economic vitality, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the quality of life for those living within or near the trade corridors.”
In addition to approving the TCIF program, the California Transportation Commission allocated $586 million for 91 other transportation projects, including $370 million from various accounts in Proposition 1B.
More than $2 billion in Proposition 1B funding has been allocated during the current fiscal year.
For information about specific TCIF projects and other projects that received funding allocations, visit: http://www.dot.ca.gov/tcifprojectsandctcaprilvotelist.htm.