CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Sponsored Bill to Streamline Transportation Projects Signed by Governor

October 11, 2019

CSAC-sponsored SB 137 by Senator Bill Dodd was signed by the Governor earlier this week. The bill will eliminate duplicative environmental reviews and expedite county bridge and road safety projects by authorizing additional exchanges of up to $100 million annually in federal and state transportation funding through the Match Exchange Program. A similar streamlining mechanism is currently only available to regional transportation planning agencies with populations below 200,000.

In a statement, Senator Dodd said his bill will “streamline an often duplicative and bureaucratic process, making every transportation dollar count. We can use that savings to expand both the number and quality of projects, providing Californians with the good roads they deserve.”

SB 137 will allow the state and local agencies to reduce the cost of transportation projects and provide for more projects to be completed with the same amount of revenue by expanding the Match Exchange Program to other transportation programs with federal funds allocated to local agencies, specifically the Highway Safety Improvement Program and local bridge projects. Counties have estimated that going through federal aid process and the National Environmental Policy Act review, in addition to California’s robust processes, adds anywhere from fifteen to forty percent to the cost of a project; especially smaller projects.

CSAC worked closely with the author’s office, the Legislature, the California Department of Transportation, the California Department of Finance, and the California State Transportation Agency to negotiate amendments and secure passage of the bill. We look forward to working with counties to ensure successful implementation of this measure.

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