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Caltrans Announces $1.6 Billion for Transportation Projects

Transportation Projects to Begin Throughout the State

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) issued a press release last month announcing the allocation of upwards of $1.6 billion for transportation projects throughout California.  The monies were allocated by the California Transportation Commission (CTC).  A large percentage of the budget will apply to projects under the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) and the Fix it First program run by Caltrans.  Fix it First is designed to preserve the conditions of the state’s highway system – allowing for critical upgrades and repairs to existing highways and roads.  The transportation projects will support thousands of jobs which are essential to California’s economy.

Mass Transit Enhancement

More than $118 million in funds allocated by the CTC will go toward mass transit and rail projects, including bus, intercity rail, and freight services. The project will expand public transportation access and will help reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. $77 million has been allocated for the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which will upgrade the routes for the transport of goods along high-freight-volume corridors by improving local roads, state highways, port facilities, freight rail systems, and truck corridors.

Pedestrians & Bicyclists to Get Safer Routes

Nearly $14 million has been approved by the CTC for projects to improve pedestrian and bicycle over-crossings, repair bike lanes and sidewalks, and enhance safer routes to schools for children.

Using Gas Tax Monies

Funding for the project is derived from state and federal gas taxes, including over a billion from Senate Bill One, also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. California’s portion of funds from SB 1 will go toward the ongoing rehabilitation and maintenance of the State Highway System. By 2027, the money will have allowed Caltrans to repair over 500 bridges, 17,000 miles of pavement, 7,700 traffic operating systems, and 55,000 culverts.  The upgrades will help reduce congestion on the highways and provide funds for items such as traffic cameras, ramp meters, and electronic highway message signs.

More Transportation Projects Mean More Work Zones

With all the newly approved road construction, motorists throughout California will encounter more work zones on the state’s highways. With more construction employees on the roads, motorists are reminded to be on the alert for these work zones.  Paying attention while traveling through a road construction zone is critically important as there are often cones, barriers, lane changes, and alterations to the regular roadway.  Because there are workers within the cone zones, extra vigilance is required from drivers.  Never drive distracted or impaired, keep your eyes on the road, and your attention fully focused on driving.

Here are a few more tips for driving safely in road construction zones:

  • Expect the unexpected – in construction zones, the speed limit will likely be lowered, and lanes may be altered.  There may be obstacles and people near the road.
  • Follow the flagger’s directions – pay attention and follow all directions given by the signal person.  The flagger has the same legal authority as a traffic signal, so you can be cited if you ignore the flagger.
  • Be patient – remember road improvements are necessary.  The zones are not intended to inconvenience you.
  • Slow down and drive defensively – the most common type of accident in construction zones is the rear-end crash.  Do not follow too closely or drive too fast for conditions.
  • Expect and plan for delays – knowing that there are so many pending road construction projects, we should all make an effort to give ourselves plenty of time to get to our destinations.

Watch the YouTube video from CalTrans offering safety reminders when traveling through a “cone zone.”

Sacramento Car Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento, California.  For close to 40 years, I have advocated on behalf of injured Sacramentans.  If you are seeking compassionate, free, and friendly advice because you or a loved one were injured due to the negligent driving of another, call me at (916) 921-6400.  If you are outside the Sacramento area, my toll-free number is (800) 404-5400.  If you prefer electronic communication, you can fill out my online contact form.  


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