California cranks out stimulus money

Caltrans reports 90% of transportation projects funded under recovery act has been awarded to contractors

News Caltrans November 02, 2010
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New information compiled by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) confirms that close to 90% of California’s transportation projects funded by the Recovery Act have been awarded to contractors, allowing construction to start. California received more Recovery Act dollars for transportation than any other state–nearly $2.6 billion for 982 highway, local street, rail and port infrastructure projects–and 853 have been awarded.

“California is effectively spending Recovery Act funds, and we are delivering on our promise to get economic recovery money out on the street as quickly as possible and put people to work,” said Caltrans Director Cindy McKim. “From day one, our focus has been and continues to be ensuring that California gets the maximum benefit from the Recovery Act.”

The new data also shows that at $847 million California outpaces all other states but Texas in reported Recovery Act transportation spending. California’s monthly spending more than tripled this year from $40 million in February to $130 million in September.

"We worked multiple shifts putting many people to work on a $40 million Recovery Act project that built five new bridges and widened five miles of State Route 91 in Santa Ana Canyon,” said Paul Von Berg, executive vice president of Brutoco Engineering & Construction Inc., the contractor for the project. "We completed the project in less than a year, so the Recovery Act funding was definitely spent in a timely manner.”

California law gave local communities greater control over where and how to spend their share of Recovery Act transportation money–roughly $1.6 billion for 867 projects distributed to cities, counties and local agencies. No other state comes close to having this number of locally controlled projects.

The Recovery Act has provided California a unique opportunity to catch up on some of the backlog of critical transportation infrastructure needs. Recovery Act funding is helping address such needs as:

• $1 billion for 678 projects that are helping restore, rehabilitate or resurface existing roadways;

• $992 million directed to 35 projects that are increasing capacity and/or reconstructing existing roads;

• $217 million for 91 projects that will better manage California’s traffic operations, relieve congestion and improve road safety; and

• $102 million used to fund 14 projects to rehabilitate, replace or add capacity to existing bridges.

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