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Current News December 2011

State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project Receives a $20 Million Tiger Grant

Tiger GrantsOn Thursday, December 15, Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, announced that the State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project (SR-91 CIP) received a $20 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) grant. The funding provides a portion of needed financing for the SR-91 CIP which extends the 91 Express Lanes into Riverside County, adds a new lane in each direction of the SR-91, rebuilds seven interchanges, makes needed street and access improvements in the city of Corona, and constructs a number of auxiliary lanes at key locations to ease access on and off the freeway especially between the SR-91 and Interstate 15. The project is projected to create 16,000 jobs and is estimated to cost $1.35 billion with approximately two-thirds of the funding anticipated to come from the sale of toll revenue bonds and Measure A funds. Additional information on the project is available at www.sr91project.info. The TIGER TIFIA grant will leverage part of a $445 million TIFIA loan needed from the U.S. Treasury to support the remaining one-third of the project cost.

TIGER III was highly competitive. $527 million was available nationally; 828 applications were received, totaling $14.1 billion in requests. In reviewing the funding requests, it appears that TIGER awards were capped at $20 million and the Commission received the largest grant amount possible in this funding round. A copy of the Commission’s press release can be accessed by clicking here.

A list of TIGER III grant recipients is available at www.dot.gov/tiger/.

FUNDING PROVIDED TO SUPPORT
WESTERN RIVERSIDE COUNTY REGIONAL CONSERVATION AUTHORITY

Measure AThe Commission committed $3 million annually for the next 8 years to the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority to buy wildlife habitat properties under the Multiple Species Habitat Conversation Plan (MSHCP). The $24 million commitment of funds will fulfill the Commission’s obligation to provide $153 million for mitigation of our transportation projects. The funding will be used by the RCA to assist in the purchase of land deemed critical to maintaining the county’s habitat plan for rare and endangered plants and animals. As part of the MSHCP, approximately 153,000 acres of additional reserve lands will be secured to add to the approximately 347,000 acres already in public/quasi-public lands. The Western Riverside County MSHCP is the largest in the nation providing protection of 146 plant and animal species within a planning area of 1.26 million acres. Nearly 500,000 acres of resources, or about 40% of the planning area, will be protected.

2012 ELECTION OF OFFICERS — SUPERVISOR JOHN BENOIT ELECTED CHAIR OF RCTC

RCTCRiverside County Supervisor John Benoit was elected to serve as the Commission’s new Chair for 2012. Corona’s Councilmember Karen Spiegel will serve as Vice Chair and Supervisor Marion Ashley will serve as Second Vice Chair.

Supervisor Benoit has extensive political experience including several years in the State Legislature and most recently represented the 37th district as a California State Senator. He was appointed to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and was elected to a four-year term in June 2010. Benoit represents the 4th District and serves on numerous committees including the Southern California Association of Governments and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Spiegel will serve as the Commission’s Vice Chair. She was elected to the Corona City Council in 2002 and served as Mayor in 2006 and again in 2010. She serves on a number of regional boards including the League of California Cities, Riverside Division, and the State Route 91 Advisory Committee.

Ashley was elected to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in 2002. He has served on a number of regional boards including the March Joint Powers Commission and the Western Riverside Council of Governments. Supervisor Ashley has championed a number of projects including the Mid County Parkway and the Perris Valley Line.

OFFICE CLOSURE

The Commission’s offices will be closed Monday, December 26, 2011 through Monday, January 2, 2012 in observance of the holiday season. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, January 3 at 7:30 a.m. As a reminder, business hours are Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The office is closed on Fridays.

Upcoming Commission Meeting

The Commission will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, January 11, at 9:30 a.m. at the Riverside County Administrative Center, Board of Supervisors’ Meeting Room, 4080 Lemon Street, Riverside, California.
A copy of the 2012 Commission/Committee Meeting and Transit Needs Public Hearing Schedule can be accessed by clicking here.

Speakers Bureau

The Commission also maintains a speakers bureau that actively makes presentations throughout the county on transportation issues. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your service club or community organization, please contact Eliza Echevarria at (951) 787‑7141 or eechevarria@rctc.org.

Follow RCTC on Twitter

In an effort to enhance public outreach, the Commission created a twitter account — an internet messaging site that allows anyone to post information on a real time basis. If you use Twitter, you can follow the Commission at twitter.com/RCTC.

twitter.com/ie511Interested in what’s happening with traffic in the Inland Empire? IE511 is your best source for getting around Southern California. Real‑time traffic for Southern California, including travel times, freeway cameras, and incident information. IE511 also offers bus and rail transit information as well as rideshare for those seeking an alternative to automobile travel. Connect on the go. Call 511 within the Inland Empire or rely on IE511 wherever you go by calling 1‑877‑MYIE511.

Transportation in the News

Riverside County Coordinated Plan Workshops
(RCTC, 12/30/2011)

Local Agencies Pave the Way for 91 Express Lane Project
(OC Metro, 12/19/2011)

RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Deal Reached to Co-Manage Toll Lanes
(Press Enterprise, 12/16/2011)

Mobility 21 Touts $37 Million Funding Award for So Cal Transportation
(Yahoo News, 12/16/2011)

TRANSPORTATION: Hwy. 91 Project Awarded $20 Million Federal Grant
(Press Enterprise, 12/15/2011)

RCTC Welcomes Initial TIFIA Funding for 91 Freeway Project
(RCTC, 12/15/2011)

REGION: RCTC Pledges $24 Million for Habitat Conservation
(The Californian, 12/14/2011)

RIVERSIDE COUNTY: $24 Million Habitat Payment Approved
(Press Enterprise, 12/14/2011)

RIVERSIDE: Major Highway 91 Car Pool Lane Addition Coming Soon
(Press Enterprise, 12/8/2011)

Riverside County: Habitat Payment from Transportation Officials Sought
(Press Enterprise, 12/2/2011)

Riverside County to Join Coastal Rail Commission
(Press Enterprise, 11/29/2011)

Riverside County Transportation Commission
P.O. Box 12008 • Riverside, CA 92502-2208 • Phone: (951) 787-7141 • Fax: (951) 787-7920
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