Friday, 14 June 2024

California Transportation Commission awards over $300 million to climate change resiliency

The California Transportation Commission on Thursday awarded more than $300 million to 15 projects across California that will make the state’s transportation system more resilient to the impacts of climate change while also encouraging more walking and biking and enhancing public health.

The investments made by the commission total $309.2 million and will help fund projects with a total cost of more than $1.1 billion in climate-vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Projects funded through the program will make surface transportation infrastructure more resilient to sea level rise, flooding, extreme weather events and other natural hazards exacerbated by the changing climate.

“Communities across California are experiencing the impacts of climate change,” said Commission Chair Lee Ann Eager. “The extreme storms, flooding, and devastating wildfires we see year after year have become the norm, and we must invest in our transportation infrastructure today to avoid costly repairs and preserve access and mobility options for Californians in the future.”

“The initial investments we are making today represent a critical first step in ensuring California’s transportation system can withstand the impacts of climate change,” said Commission Vice Chair Carl Guardino. “We look forward to working with Governor Newsom and the Legislature to ensure sufficient funding is available to keep our entire transportation system functional and safe for future generations.”

The adopted program includes the following projects:

Addressing Climate Change, Emergencies, and Sandstorms (ACCESS) Project (Coachella Valley Association of Governments)

This $75 million project will construct two all-weather bridges on Indian Canyon Road, which is often impacted by severe flooding and blown sand. These improvements will increase the resiliency of local disadvantaged communities by increasing their access to key destinations that are critical to their livelihood and well-being. The project also includes improvements to make walking and bicycling safer along the route.

Roe Road Phase 2 Project (Town of Paradise)

This $66 million project will provide alternative access to State Route 191 / Clark Road so residents have a second route for emergency evacuations in the event of a natural disaster. The project serves the climate-vulnerable communities south of Pearson Road which experienced the highest concentration of fatalities from the 2018 Camp Fire.

Coastal Rail Infrastructure Resiliency Project (Orange County Transportation Agency)

This $15 million project will help develop solutions to ongoing climate-related service suspensions along seven miles of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor between the cities of San Clemente and Dana Point.

The full list of approved projects can be found on the Commission’s website at this link.

The Local Transportation Climate Adaptation Program provides $400.5 million over five years, with $148 million in state funding from Gov. Newsom’s 2022-23 Clean Transportation Infrastructure Package and $252.5 million from the federal Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Formula Program established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Remaining funds will be awarded by the Commission in a future funding cycle.

For more information, visit the commission’s website.

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