MAJOR PROGRESS CONTINUES ON THE STATE ROUTE 91 PROJECT
The $1.4 billion design-build State Route 91 Project will add regular lanes, tolled express lanes, auxiliary lanes, and make improvements to interchanges,
bridges, ramps, and local streets. Major construction work started in July 2014 and project completion is scheduled for 2017.
At the July 2015 Commission meeting, staff presented an update on the project reporting design work is
97 percent complete and construction is 37 percent complete.
Following are the major project milestones to date:
All properties initially identified as needed to widen the freeway have been acquired without negatively impacting the construction schedule;
An additional 36 parcels have been identified through the design phase and are in the process of being acquired;
A total of 104 dry utility relocations are completed and an additional 102 wet utility relocations are 25 percent completed;
New bridges are being constructed at four railroad crossings;
To minimize impacts to businesses, one million square feet of retaining walls have been built; and
Because the project has a close proximity to residential areas, construction work during night time hours is minimized, when possible.
For a copy of the staff presentation, click here.
Complete project details are available at http://www.sr91project.info/.
91 Project - 37 Percent Complete
2015 REPORT ON TOLLING IN THE UNITED STATES
Speaking of toll projects, the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) released its 2015 Report on Tolling in the United States.
The report includes fast facts on the importance of tolling, why the nation's economy depends on a strong transportation system, and includes a section on
declining fuel taxes. IBTTA's report is available here.
COMMISSION APPROVES $198 MILLION IN TRANSIT FUNDING FOR FY 2015/16
As the regional transportation planning agency, the Commission is responsible for planning transit services, allocation of transit funds, operator oversight,
and performance monitoring. In June, the Commission approved the Short Range Transit Plans (SRTP) for public bus and commuter rail service providers.
The SRTPs identify operating and capital budgets, as well as funding sources, and serve as blueprints for the future development of transit services, operations,
and infrastructure. Based on the SRTPs, the Commission approved approximately $198 million in funding to cover the operating and capital costs for seven public bus
operators and Metrolink commuter rail services for FY 2015/16. Funding levels for FY 2015/16 reflect a system wide increase of 10 percent in total operating expenses
mainly due to significant startup cost for the Perris Valley Line extension, scheduled to open in December. Capital expenditures will increase by 17 percent due to
planned procurements of several new buses, including five fuel cell buses for service expansion and vehicle replacement. Overall transit ridership for FY 2015/16 is
projected to be 19.5 million, approximately two percent higher than the previous year's ridership.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ACTIONS THREATEN LEVEL OF TRANSIT SERVICE
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to withhold certification of federal transit grants to California transit operators, including those in Riverside County,
due to an ongoing legal dispute between the state of California and DOL over the Public Employee Pension Reform Act (PEPRA). The DOL and transit unions contend PEPRA
is incompatible with collective bargaining protections in federal law. A federal district court judge ruled otherwise, favoring California's position that the DOL is
incorrectly interpreting federal law. The DOL appealed the ruling and placed new conditions on transit grants in California. While this legal dispute continues,
transit operators are facing a serious shortfall of federal funds needed to provide essential transit service to the community. If the legal standoff remains unresolved
in the near future, Riverside County transit leaders will need to make significant transit service cuts. In the interim, the Commission approved a bridge loan of
approximately $7.8 million in Local Transportation funds to the Riverside Transit Agency and SunLine Transit Agency so uninterrupted transit services can continue.
2015 MOBILITY 21 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION SUMMIT
Join Mobility 21 for California's largest one-day transportation conference and expo on Friday, August 28 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.
"Competitive California," the theme of this year's Mobility 21 Summit, promises to bring together more than 1,000 transportation stakeholders,
industry leaders, and elected officials to discuss transportation's role in making California the best place to live, work, and play.
Registration includes access to top industry decision makers and elected leaders, three general sessions, a choice of eight breakout sessions, and a dynamic
expo hall with over 100 exhibitors. General registration also includes:
Breakfast buffet and lunch;
Complimentary roundtrip Metrolink and Anaheim Resort Transportation shuttle service or self-parking; and
Twilight ticket to Disneyland redeemable after 4 p.m.
Complete summit details, including the agenda are available at: http://mobility21.com/2015summit