Saturday, 18 January 2020

Legislature approves transportation project savings bill

SACRAMENTO – The Legislature approved a bill Tuesday from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would reduce the cost of road projects that use federal transportation funds, allowing more improvements with the same amount of money.

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

Senate Bill 137 eliminates redundant and less robust federal reviews associated with federal highway funding, saving time and money.

Previously, only agencies serving populations under 200,000 were afforded the abbreviated process. SB 137 would waive the review for agencies of all sizes.

The bill, which passed the Assembly and Senate with overwhelming support, heads next to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a signature. It is supported by the California State Association of Counties as well as individual local government agencies.

“I applaud Sen. Dodd and the Legislature for this bill, which will eliminate formalities and accelerate the completion of much-needed transportation projects,” said David Rabbitt, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Metropolitan Transportation Commissioner. “Reducing costs and increasing flexibility is essential to improving our roads in a timely manner.”

“This bill allows a savings of both time and money, which is very important to Solano County and our ability to deliver projects,” said Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering, who also sits on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “It is a much more efficient approach that allows us flexibility with our federal dollars.”

Dodd represents California’s Third Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties.

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