Caltrans predicts new taxes will allow major increase in highway and bridge repairs

Anticipating billions of dollars from new tax increases, the California Department of Transportation is predicting it will make significant headway during the next decade on delayed highway and bridge repairs.

The Legislature and governor recently approved new gas taxes and vehicle fees starting in November to fund such repairs.

A 10-year Highway Operations and Protection Plan submitted by Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty predicts an improved system of primary roads and bridges with money from the new taxes, albeit still with billions of dollars in funding shortfalls to complete 100% of the roadwork that needs to be done during the next decade.

The report says the new tax money will result “in an additional 17,000 miles of pavement repaired; an additional 500 bridges repaired or replaced; an additional 55,000 culverts and drains repaired; and an additional 7,700 signals, signs and sensors repaired or replaced.”

About 24% of pavement on state highways is in poor condition, but the report says the new spending will put 98% of pavement in good or fair condition.

About 10% of bridges are in poor condition, but the spending will put 98.5% of bridge decks in good or fair condition, the report says.

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