Feds Reward California with Record $293M in Extra Funding for Launching All Projects Before Federal Deadlines

Sept. 8, 2016
Caltrans recently announced that the federal government has rewarded California with a record $293 million in transportation funding after the state met all its 2015-2016 fiscal year deadlines for federally-funded projects.

Caltrans recently announced that the federal government has rewarded California with a record $293 million in transportation funding after the state met all its 2015-2016 fiscal year deadlines for federally-funded projects. This surpasses California’s previous record (set in 2006) by almost $90 million.

“Caltrans has been rewarded — yet again — for its on-time and responsible use of federal funding, launching new construction projects prior to federal deadlines,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “These additional funds will help Caltrans and local transportation agencies to continue to invest in transportation across the state.”

Each year, some states do not 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 $2.8 billion of which California received $293 million, the most in the nation. New York was a distant second with $155.8 million.

“We will continue to responsibly and efficiently use California’s transportation funds,” continued Dougherty. “This money will be put to work immediately supporting jobs and making improvements that will benefit Californians for decades to come.”

Caltrans will get roughly $185 million of this extra funding and local transportation agencies could receive up to $108 million. The funding must be prioritized for projects that meet the federal deadline of September 27, 2016. 

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

  • In August, Caltrans completed the first phase of the Interstate 80/Interstate 680/State Route 12 Interchange Project between Fairfield and Suisun City. During this first phase of the seven-phase project, a new connector bridge from westbound I-80 to westbound SR-12 was constructed, connecting the I-80 corridor in Solano County to the Napa Valley. This seven-phase ongoing project will reduce congestion and improve safety for the more than 150,000 motorists who travel daily through the interchange connecting the Bay Area, Napa Valley and Sacramento.
  • The $133.3 million “Across the Top” project in Sacramento will construct about 10 miles of bus/carpool lanes in both directions of Interstate 80 and is expected to be completed mid-November 2016. These improvements are expected to relieve congestion.
  • Caltrans will fully activate the I-80 SMART Corridor in September as part of an effort to use technology to help ease the commute in the Bay Area. The I-80 SMART Corridor will change the way motorists drive on one of the busiest corridors in the Bay Area, a 20-mile stretch between the Carquinez Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The I-80 SMART Corridor project incorporates an integrated network of signs, sensors, cameras, signals and ramp meters communicating with each other to provide real-time traffic management.
  • In May, Caltrans celebrated the completion of the Cajon Pass Rehabilitation and the Devore Interchange projects, located on Interstates 15 and 215 in San Bernardino. The $121 million Cajon Pass corridor is a high-use route, with approximately 180,000 vehicles per day and no alternate routes in the regional vicinity. The project re-constructed 50 lane-miles of pavement in both directions. The I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange is a major arterial for trucking, recreation and commuting. Benefits as a result of the project include the addition of truck bypass lanes to separate slow moving trucks from vehicles, the addition of one lane in each direction and safety improvements to reduce traffic weaving and increase operational standards.
  • In April, Caltrans began construction on more than 10 miles of new carpool lanes on the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10), which will ease congestion for the more than 200,000 motorists who travel the route daily in the San Gabriel Valley. The $195 million project will add one 5.2 mile-long carpool lane in each direction of I-10 between Citrus Street in West Covina and the Orange Freeway (SR-57). Soundwalls will also be constructed to reduce freeway noise in adjacent neighborhoods. This is the last of three projects that upon completion will create continuous carpool lanes between downtown Los Angeles and San Bernardino County, a distance of approximately 40 miles.