CSAC Bulletin Article

County Progress on Transportation Projects Highlighted in State Capitol

February 13, 2020

Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa testified on behalf of CSAC this week at a Senate Transportation Committee oversight hearing on implementation of SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

Since February 2018, when the first SB 1 funds began flowing to counties and cities, more than 2,500 local projects have been proposed, representing more than $3.5 billion in planned investments in local streets and roads. Over 1,800 SB 1-funded local projects have been completed through June 2019.

Supervisor Chiesa’s testimony focused on how transformative SB 1 funding has been Stanislaus County, where funds are being used to resurface 514 miles of roads and provide matching funds for three significant bridge projects, among other priorities. The same is true around the state, where additional funding from SB 1 has allowed counties to move away from triage and chip away at maintenance backlogs.

Counties have also been able to bolster their multi-modal investments, with significant funding allocated for closing sidewalk gaps, striping new bike lanes, and creating better bicycle and pedestrian access to community amenities like parks and schools. 

Despite all of this progress, Supervisor Chiesa shared the ongoing needs of counties. First, in recognition of the need for stability and predictability from the state, he acknowledged the leadership of Chairman Beall, Chairman Frazier and others who have worked hard to ensure that SB 1 funds are allocated to their intended purposes without delay.

Second, despite significant new state funding, counties and cities continue to face significant bridge maintenance and replacement needs. Local agencies in California own over 12,000 bridges, of which 829 need to be replaced and 1,834 need rehabilitation. Additional dedicated funding is needed for these unique projects, as even a single bridge project can equate to several years’ worth of road maintenance funding in smaller counties.

Finally, Supervisor Chiesa advocated for continued streamlining of environmental and administrative processes to more quickly deliver maintenance, rehabilitation and safety projects. CSAC will continue to prioritize opportunities to expedite project delivery, including working on implementation of CSAC-sponsored SB 137 (Dodd, 2019).

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