This past week, Caltrans District 10 Director Dennis Agar addressed reporters and local County and State representatives to discuss the impact of this winter’s storms on the state highway system and California’s need for a long-term source of transportation funding.
“The stress placed on the state highway system by extreme weather continues to underline the need for stable sources of transportation funding to maintain California’s aging roads,” said Agar. “California has about $6 billion in annual, unfunded maintenance needs. Just this winter we’ve experienced more than $730 million in storm-related damages statewide.”
Caltrans District 10, which consists of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties, has seen more than $10 million in emergency maintenance projects. Significant examples of emergency maintenance projects within the District include:
• Full closure of State Route 26 (SR-26) in Amador/Calaveras County following two separate slide events and damaged culverts – cost to date of $2.5 million.
• Slope repairs and culvert replacement on SR-4 near Victoria Island in San Joaquin County – cost to date of $900,000.
• Emergency maintenance to address flooding of SR-59 near Mariposa Creek in Merced County – cost to date of $175,000.
In addition, the nearby Altamont Pass on Interstate 580, which is a vital corridor for San Joaquin Valley commuters and commercial vehicles, experienced several emergency lane closures and traffic delays requiring approximately $2 million in emergency maintenance to repair pot holes and perform slab replacement.
Legislative leadership and Governor Brown have set a Thursday, April 6 deadline to pass a transportation funding plan that will create the largest permanent investment in transportation infrastructure in California’s history.
“In spite of these challenges, Caltrans continues its efforts to improve efficiency and align available resources to create a safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system,” said Agar. “The current funding proposal will allow us to address the maintenance backlog and take care of our roads going forward. We’re ready to work.”