California Department of Transportation
 

California Department of Transportation

Date: November 25, 2013
District: 6 – Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera and Kern
Contact: Jose Camarena
Phone: (559) 488-4067

CALTRANS TULARE REST AREA RECIEVES TOP ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATION

Central Valley project will save 12 million gallons of water annually

FRESNO - As part of its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayer money, Caltrans today announced that the Philip S. Raine Roadside Rest Area on SR 99 in Tulare County has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification—the highest possible environmental rating—by the United State Green Building Council (USGBC).

“This platinum certification represents the deep commitment of Caltrans to delivering not only safety and mobility, but also sustainability in California’s transportation system,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. “Caltrans is embracing innovation and new design to operate more efficiently and help combat climate change.”   

The Raine facility, one of 233 buildings in California to achieve this milestone, is one hour south of Fresno near Tipton and serves more than four million visitors annually. Caltrans has previously earned LEED Gold certification for its Los Angeles office and LEED Silver certification for the district office in Marysville.

“Caltrans is proud of this wonderful green construction project that promotes sustainability and is a good investment for California travelers,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “From building more bike and pedestrian paths, to adding carpool lanes and innovative designs, Caltrans is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Caltrans replaced the rest area’s landscaping with drought tolerant and native plants, which, along with improved irrigation, will save an estimated 12 million gallons of water annually that can be put to good use by Central Valley farmers. During construction, Caltrans sent all construction waste to recyclers instead of the landfill and incorporated regional materials from within 500 miles of the project.
 
The following upgrades have transformed the Raine facility into an energy-efficient rest area that will save taxpayer money and better serve travelers:

  • High efficiency lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units;
  • Natural day lighting of interior spaces;
  • A shade canopy with photovoltaic panels;
  • Healthy indoor air quality by eliminating dust, moisture, and contaminants from interior spaces

USGBC is recognized as the country's leading authority on green building standards.

“Caltrans’ LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Caltrans serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

The Raine rest area was originally constructed in 1965, with upgrades added in 1984. The improved facility reopened in November 2012 after completing an $8.5 million rehabilitation that included environmental upgrades and compliance with the American Disabilities Act.

Through innovation and a focus on efficiency, Caltrans is working to build a more sustainable transportation system in California. Below are some other examples of efforts by Caltrans to reduce emissions and improve sustainability:

  • Eliminating 160,000 tons of CO2 equivalent annually—the equivalent of removing 31,000 cars off the road—by reducing traffic congestion, embracing new standards for construction materials, alternative fuels, efficient lighting, and renewable energy;
  • Using thousands of tons of rubberized asphalt concrete made from recycled tires to repave highways in California and reduce the impact on landfills;
  • Purchasing more efficient vehicle engines and retrofitting its fleet of vehicles with the best available emissions control technology;
  • Funding millions of dollars annually in rail and transit construction projects that improve quality of life and reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information on the effort of Caltrans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, read the 2013 Caltrans Activities to Address Climate Change report: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/paffairs/news/pressrel/13pr030.htm

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