Auburn, Calif.- As part of the on-going and extensive outreach and planning effort to develop a funding strategy to improve the transportation infrastructure in the Placer region, the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) staff will present a draft expenditure plan at the next PCTPA Board Meeting, on Wednesday, August 26 at 9:00am at 175 Fulweiler Avenue.
The expenditure plan details how the funding for specific projects and programs will be spent if the community approves a 1/2 cent sales tax measure.
“If we’re going to maintain our high quality of life here in Placer County, we need to invest at least $3 billion in critical transportation improvements over the next 30 years”, said Celia McAdam, PCTPA Executive Director. These improvements include adding freeway, interchange and road capacity, fixing traffic hot spots, making smart investments in transit and filling potholes and resurfacing roads in every community in the County. PCTPA has estimated approximately $1.25 billion will be available from existing transportation funding sources including private developer fees. This leaves a $1.75 billion gap.
“The problem is that the purchasing power of the flat per gallon gas tax is about 1/3 of what it was twenty years ago due to inflation, increased fuel efficiency and the growing use of alternative-powered vehicles ,” noted McAdam.. “Federal Highway Trust Fund is effectively bankrupt. And the State is targeting their limited resources to maintaining existing highways, not capacity improvements. Also, what federal or state funding there is requires significant local dollars to match those funds. This dismal funding picture has effectively forced the PCTPA Board to look at ways to fund our region’s transportation needs locally.”
Some key features of the Expenditure Plan include:
- Significant funding to improve the I-80/SR 65 interchange;
- One third of the funds allocated to local jurisdictions, with set aside for Tahoe, to fund local road rehabilitation and maintenance backlogs, address congestion hot spots and leverage funds for local transportation priorities;
- Critical early funding to jump start the Placer Parkway and SR 65 widening;
- Funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects to improve local mobility;
- Significant investment in rail and transit improvements, including expansion of the Capitol Corridor rail service, bus rapid transit to future university areas and senior and disabled transit.
“The expenditure plan is an important part of the planning and outreach process, because it allows the community to understand exactly how the monies would be used,” said McAdam. “It is the commitment from PCTPA Board and staff as well as the local jurisdictions within the region.”