Caltrans allocates $3.4 million for local projects

– Caltrans press release

Bishop – The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated over $254 million for 41 transportation projects that will enhance the safety and mobility of Californians throughout the state, which includes $3.4 million for locally-administered Active Transportation Program projects that encourage biking and walking.


“Investing in our infrastructure benefits Californians for generations to come and these projects will improve mobility for all users of the transportation system, whether they choose to travel by car, take transit or ride a bicycle,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

The allocations included $116.2 million from Proposition 1B, the 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. This included $108 million to purchase diesel-electric locomotives and bi-level passenger railcars to improve intercity rail service by providing new capacity and replacing aging Amtrak-owned locomotives. Portions of that allocation will also be utilized for installing video and audio communications to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disability Act. Since its passage, more than $18 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide for transportation purposes.

The remaining $134.9 million in allocations came from assorted transportation accounts funded by state and federal dollars.

Some of the notable projects that received allocations include:

$8,347,000 was allocated for the Lee Vining Rock Fall Project that will re-vegetate and install anchored mesh on three roadway slopes and re-vegetate three additional slope locations to reduce erosion, stabilize the slopes and minimize the potential for rocks falling on U.S. Hwy 395 near Lee Vining (0.4 mile north of the National Forest Visitor Center to 0.7 mile north of the Picnic Grounds Road.

$1,673,000 was allocated to Inyo County for the South Bishop Resurfacing Project, which comprises of three county roads.  New asphalt surfacing will be installed on 5.4 miles of roadway to improve maintainability and the lifetime of the pavement.

$670,000 was allocated for the Sunland Drive Bicycle Lanes Project.  The project will widen Sunland Drive and install bicycle lanes, striping and signage to improve safety for bicyclists, provide a route from Bishop City Center to Wilkerson, and an alternative route for bicyclists traveling on U.S. Hwy 395.

The CTC also approved $64.7 million in supplemental funds for the Route 101-Willits Bypass project in Mendocino County. The funds are necessary to address time delays needed to complete the project due to unexpected costs incurred by work stoppages caused by protesters, increased environmental permitting requirements and an increase to the pace of environmental mitigation.

Legislation requires development and implementation of a pilot program in California to study Road Usage Charge alternatives to the current gas tax, per SB 1077. As such, the CTC also approved 15 members to the Road Usage Charge Technical Advisory Committee whose recommendations will be used to inform the development of the pilot program.


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23 Responses to Caltrans allocates $3.4 million for local projects

  1. Desert Tortoise December 17, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Right now, those roads we all enjoy are subsidized out of the generosity of urban taxpayers. Local tax revenues do not even begin to pay for our shared community infrastructure, including our electrical connections, gas, water, internet and major public buildings. All of that is paid for at least in part by tax revenues generated by other wealthier parts of the state. So tell me what exactly is “fair”? Right now we get a pretty good deal because the taxpayers don’t want to see us do without pavement and electricity, so they pay part of the cost we cannot afford to pay. Now someone whines that a new method of funding roads will force them to maybe pay a greater share of the cost to maintain the roads they enjoy. From the stand point of someone who is now footing proportionally more of the cost than the actual users are paying but does not use those roads themselves, it looks like a good deal that should have happened a long time ago. Instead of complaining you should be thankful for the generosity of the big cities you disparage because without the taxes they pay we would all lead primitive lives living out here. They are paying more in taxes than is required to fund the infrastructure they need so we can live in the sticks and bad mouth them. Nice.

    • Wayne December 17, 2014 at 11:09 am #

      Wave of the future: User fees and pay-as-you-go, or “Service Redesign” as our County Supervisors call it. If they would have included OHV User Fees in the Adventure Trails Plan then the out of town adventurers would at least be contributing something proportional to their impacts. As it is looks like we are will get rich flipping burgers for the OHVers as we watch potential buyers make lowball offers and or avoid properties along combined use routes.

      • sugar magnolia December 19, 2014 at 8:56 am #

        FYI a gas tax, as we currently have, is a Pay As You Go tax….I drive a lot, so I’m at the gas station a lot, paying my taxes that support highway/road maintenance.

        The issue is, as gas prices have gone up, people are buying less gas which equates to less gas tax being collected. PLUS, alternative fuel vehicles are using the roads but not paying gas tax, ie. not paying their fair share of the road maintenance costs.

        This is an attempt to stop the decrease in tax revenue and to capture user tax from alternative vehicle drivers.

        Question, will the gas tax at the pump go away if we start using this pay by the mile plan? or will we just be paying double taxes to pay for roads?

    • Charles O. Jones December 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Amen DT.
      And California’s economic engine not only supports rural areas such as Inyo and Mono counties, it also supports many states as well. California receives roughly 70 cents worth of federal government services for ever dollar paid in federal taxes. The remainder goes towards supporting the (many) less-than-properous states in the Union. (most of which happen to be red states by the way)

      People love to jump on the Bag-On-California-Bandwagon, but without the support of California’s economy, many in our country would feel the impact.

    • sugar magnolia December 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      DT, you act like only us rural folk drive on the roads here. Fact is, locals make up only a portion of the ADT for the highways in Inyo and Mono Counties. Those ‘generous’ people you reference liberally use the roads here. Good thing they are helping to pay for them.

      • Desert Tortoise December 19, 2014 at 9:59 am #

        The whole nation benefits from a well developed infrastructure, that is indeed true. Just don’t imagine the taxes we generate up here is paying anywhere close to the bill required to pay for the infrastructure we have. We live off the subsidy of the big coastal urban areas.

        • Pedro December 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

          DT, you got cause and effect backwards here. The big costal areas are supported by the resources of rural areas. Without the water, timber, oil, minerals, and agriculture of the entire state we would have no big cities. The taxes the cities pay provides them an infrasstructure to extract wealth from the entire state. So I’m not thanking them for throwing me a few crumbs like using the phones and roads they maintain to provide themselves with wealth.

  2. bpgolfer December 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Road Usage Charge, that’s all we need for people who live in rural areas. Pay by the mile rather than the gas tax. Well that’s our moonbeam governor.

    • sugar magnolia December 16, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      Agreed, a Road Usage Charge appears to hit rural residents harder than city dwellers. For example, if we need to go to the Social Security Office, we have to drive 480 miles (from Mammoth) to get to one. How about the DMV? That’s 90 miles round trip, and even further for north county residents.

      That’s just two quick examples. We need our legislators to protect us here, ASAP. No question this will hit us harder than city people, and that’s not the goal. The goal is to get alternative fuel users to pay for their fair share of the road usage.

      AND, are they proposing to put a GPS unit in my car?

  3. Charles O. Jones December 15, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    According to the Inyo County Budget 2013/2014, the largest chunk of General Fund Revenues comes from: “Aid From Other Govt Agencies 49.29%”

    See pie chart on page 43 for reference.

    • Wayne December 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Aid from other agencies (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) is not county generated. However if you wish to add that to the mix keep in mind that it is based on other agency acreages. Death Valley National Park is largest in continental U.S., Most of China Lake Weapons Center, much of the BLM acres are in South. Also, would be a great idea to have a bike and or OHV path to Coso Hot Springs. Oh, Furance Creek Inn and Ranch pay more TOT than Northern Inyo motels. Not sure where the N-S break is but likely three or maybe four of the five largest cattle ranches are in Southern Inyo.

      • Charles O. Jones December 16, 2014 at 9:09 am #

        I would welcome a new bike lane anywhere they’re willing to put one. But I’d imagine they prioritize improvement projects based on the bigger picture of needs and usage, not on north, south, east, west revenue collections.

  4. earl duran December 15, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Okey, down here we have the Gold Mine, Crystal Geyser, Coso Geothermal plant, Owens lake Projects. Should I say more.

    • Trouble December 16, 2014 at 8:13 am #

      I didn’t know we had a operating gold mine. Thxs Earl.

  5. wayne December 14, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    The tax revenues from Coso Geothermal power plant are the largest revenue source in Inyo County.

    • Charles O. Jones December 15, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      Maybe they should stripe a bike lane around the geothermal plant then…

      • Trouble December 16, 2014 at 8:04 am #

        I’m glad were getting bike lanes , but Bishop needs to finish their sidewalk projects. Our city planner seems to think it’s o.k. to walk away from all those handy cap ramps to nowhere he help get put in.

    • Desert Tortoise December 15, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      So how exactly will spending by CALTRANs improve revenue flow from the Coso Geothermal field? Cause and effect are not there. There is already a project to widen the last two lane section of US 395 that is not very well received.

  6. Trouble December 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Earl-what makes you say that southern Inyo produces more revenue than northern ?

  7. earl duran December 13, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    that’s all great for the Northern part of the county, but what does Southern Inyo get out of the funding? most of the money generated in the county comes from down here. All we get is Ghost town money.

  8. Charles O. Jones December 13, 2014 at 9:59 am #


  9. Philip Anaya December 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    The Sunland Drive Bicycle Lane Project …. Thumbs up Cal Trans


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