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Influx of New Projects Will Help Impacts of Climate Change

Tue September 19, 2023 - West Edition #20
Caltrans


Powered by an infusion of state and federal investments, Caltrans announced it has awarded $41.6 million in planning grants for 90 sustainable, climate-resilient transportation projects throughout California that address local and regional impacts of extreme weather events fueled by climate change.

The projects selected will help reduce planet-warming pollution, improve resiliency of the state highway system, enhance access to safe walkways and bike paths and increase natural disaster preparedness. Nearly $30 million comes from one-time state and federal sources made possible by Gov. Gavin Newsom's historic $15 billion clean transportation package in the 2022-23 state budget to further the state's ambitious climate goals. Another $12.4 million comes from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The awards will fund project planning and conceptual design efforts, helping move the projects closer to construction.

"California is at the forefront of planning transportation projects built to withstand the effects of climate change," said Tony Tavares, Caltrans director. "By working closely with local partners, we can maintain a sustainable, adaptable and resilient transportation system that will serve the people of California far into the future."

In total, Caltrans will fund:

  • $20.2 million in sustainable communities competitive and technical grants to 56 local, regional, tribal and transit agencies for transportation and land use planning, as well as planning for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This includes more than $8 million to fund planning for 21 projects that improve safety and access for people who walk and bike;
  • $18.1 million in climate adaptation planning grants — all from Gov. Newsom's clean transportation infrastructure package — to 26 local, regional, tribal and transit agencies to identify transportation-related climate vulnerabilities through the development of climate adaptation plans, as well as project-level adaptation planning to address climate impacts to transportation infrastructure;
  • $3.3 million in federally funded strategic partnership grants to eight projects that will plan for comprehensive highway corridors, rural agriculture and highway safety, tourism demand, intercity bus systems, transit centers and other sustainability initiatives.

In addition, Caltrans awarded $12.5 million in SB 1 funding for sustainable communities formula grants to metropolitan planning organizations to advance regional transportation plans and sustainable community strategies, bringing the total investment in sustainable transportation planning this award cycle to more $54 million. This wave of funding builds upon the Newsom Administration's historic investments in clean transportation and sustainable communities. California has invested more than $3.2 billion to improve public transit and passenger rail service this year alone, and most recently awarded more than $750 million to create more affordable housing and clean transportation options.

Funding Process

Caltrans awards transportation planning grants each year through a competitive process to encourage local and regional projects. Applications are evaluated on how projects further state transportation and climate goals by identifying and addressing statewide, interregional or regional transportation deficiencies on the highway system.

SB 1 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 view the latest news and information on state and federal infrastructure investments, visit RebuildingCA.ca.gov, which contains data on state and federal funding.

For more information, visit https://dot.ca.gov/programs/transportation-planning/.




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