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Feds Reward Calif. With Near-Record $155M in Funding

California receives a bonanza in fed funds after meeting all of it's 2013 transportation porject federal deadlines.

Fri October 04, 2013 - West Edition
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The California State Transportation Agency Sept. 17 joined the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in announcing that the federal government has rewarded California with a near-record $155 million in transportation funding after the state met all its 2013 transportation project federal deadlines.

“The federal government has rewarded Caltrans — yet again — for using all of its federal funding to launch new construction projects before federal deadlines,” said California Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. “This year’s funding increase enables Caltrans to build even more projects that create jobs and improve the state’s transportation system.”

Each year, some states fail to spend all of their federal transportation funding before federal deadlines, causing those funds to revert to a federal pool to be redistributed to states like California that have completed all requirements and can use the additional money. This year, that federal pool totaled $1.6 billion of which California received $155 million, the most in the nation. New York was a distant second with $81 million.

“We will put these transportation dollars to work supporting jobs and making improvements that will benefit Californians for decades to come,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

Caltrans will get roughly $97 million of this extra funding and local transportation agencies will receive approximately $58 million. The funding must be prioritized for projects that meet the federal deadline of Sept. 30, 2013.

California has a proven track record of maximizing its federal funding and successfully launching key infrastructure projects across California. For example, the state has undertaken the following projects:

• The $391 million Caldecott Tunnel Project is building a new tunnel that will eliminate the need to reverse the traffic direction in the existing center bore twice a day.

• The $439 million Devil’s Slide Project features the state’s first new highway tunnels in nearly 50 years.

• The $122 million Interstate 5 North Stockton Improvement Project is adding 16 mi. of new carpool lanes and rebuilding four mi. of the highway.

• Caltrans is investing $3 billion to reduce congestion and improve safety on Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County.

Last month, Caltrans was nominated as a finalist to compete for the America’s Transportation Award for its work in completing the seismic retrofit of the Dumbarton Bridge. In the Central Valley, Caltrans broke ground on a much-needed expansion of the Kings Canyon Expressway to build a faster and safer route for commuters, farmers hauling produce, and travelers visiting King Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

Caltrans also completed work on one of the largest truck inspection facilities in the state, the $100 million Cordelia Truck Scales along Interstate 80 in Solano County, which will help the California Highway Patrol inspect tens of thousands of trucks to make California’s roads safer for everyone. Together, these projects are saving commuters precious time lost by traffic congestion while creating or supporting thousands of jobs.

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