The 2008-09 fiscal year was an historical
year - and for so many reasons.
Caltrans delivered all of its 334 transportation projects, included in this year’s contracts for delivery, on time. These projects pumped $3.7 billion into the construction industry and ultimately created more than 60,000 jobs.
Completion of the first major project funded by the 2006 transportation bond (Proposition 1B) came in January 2009, one year ahead of schedule. The Interstate 5/Lomas Santa Fe Project in Southern California received $24.5 million from the 2006 transportation bond. The project, valued at $66 million overall, extended high occupancy vehicle lanes and provided other improvements that increased freeway capacity in the most heavily congested portion of the I-5 corridor.
A month later, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) brought a $2.57 billion infusion of cash to California for highways, local streets and roads, and $1.07 billion for transit projects. Under the Recovery Act, states had 120 days to obligate half their transportation funding, and California obligated this funding in less than 60 days — two months ahead of the federal deadline. Caltrans was the first state transportation department in the country to surpass the $1.7 billion obligation mark.
Caltrans used federal economic stimulus funding to leverage other resources, allowing construction to begin on hundreds of projects throughout California. In March, 57 transportation projects — totaling $625 million — were approved as the first in line to receive infrastructure-focused federal economic stimulus dollars. This included $75 million to repave three miles of rough pavement on Interstate 710 in Los Angeles County, one of
the nation’s busiest freeways for goods movement, and $46.7 million to replace two aging bridges on State Route 99 in Merced County. Nearly $565 million was targeted for rural and urban highway projects in the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP). The remaining $60 million of funding went toward pavement preservation projects. All of these projects were targeted to provide significant economic benefits across California.
The state’s first Recovery Act project broke ground in April, repaving a 50-year-old section of Interstate 80 located in Fairfield, between Sacramento and the Bay Area. This stretch of roadway is used by 200,000 motorists daily. Another $1.6 billion in Recovery Act funding was allocated in April, with $50 million going to the Doyle Drive Reconstruction Project in San Francisco. The 60-year-old Doyle Drive structure serves as the southern access to the Golden Gate Bridge and is a vital transportation link between San Francisco, and Marin and Sonoma counties. The $1.6 billion Recovery Act allocation was distributed to regional agencies for transportation projects throughout the state. Projects were selected based on a combination of their “shovel-ready” status, number of jobs created, and benefits to the state’s transportation infrastructure.
Caltrans started widening one of the most congested freeways in the nation in May — Interstate 405 through the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles — thanks to $190 million in federal economic stimulus funding. Nearly 280,000 daily commuters will enjoy 72 continuous miles of bus/carpool lanes from the San Fernando Valley
to Orange County when the job is done.
Senate Bill 1026, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in January 2006, provided the authorization to use the design/build strategy to accelerate delivery of this project. Design/build condenses a project’s timeline by combining a skilled team to design and construct the project concurrently, rather than completely designing a project before advertising. This process allows a project to begin construction earlier since one section
of the project can be built while the next step is in the process of being designed. This efficient process also maximizes available labor, materials, and resources.