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Hwy 99 gets $1.8M in Tulare County

Hwy 99 gets $1.8M in Tulare County

Money is part of $12.6 million project to improve water, sewer, irrigation facilities along vital ag highway

@TheSunGazette

SACRAMENTO – Keeping the San Joaquin Valley the most productive farmland in the nation requires flowing water in and roads to carry the food out. Highway 99 is the main arterial pumping food to sea and airports to nourish the global food demand and it will soon get $1.8 million to not only keep the trucks moving to market but also keep the water flowing across the vital roadway. 

On Monday, Aug. 19, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated almost $1.8 million to upgrade water, sewer and irrigation facilities along State Route 99 at the Philip S. Raine Safety Roadside Rest Area near the town of Tipton in Tulare County. The entire project is estimated to cost $12.6 million. It was part of almost $994 million for 47 fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 better known as the Gas Tax. 

In addition to Tulare County, SB1 revenue will also be funding highway projects to the north and south. In Fresno County, SB1 will contribute $470,000 to Highway 145 improvements including centerline and shoulder rumble strips from Interstate 5 to Church Avenue near the city of Kerman. The improvements will total $5.8 million. In Kern County, SB1 will contribute $940,000 to construct a left turn lane on Highway 119 from north of Gardner Field Road to south of Ash Street in the city of Taft. The total cost of the project is $5.2 million. 

Throughout the state, SB 1 funded projects will replace or improve 880 lane miles, 30 bridges, 474 congestion reducing devices, and repair 83 culverts to prevent flooding on highways.

“This summer, motorists are seeing our crews hard at work repairing and improving our highway’s infrastructure,” said Acting Caltrans Director Bob Franzoia. “Since SB 1 was passed, Caltrans has made progress on strengthening our transportation system and this new allocation of nearly $1 billion of SB 1 funds will be used to continue to address the backlog of repairs and upgrades.”

SHOPP is the state highway system’s “fix-it-first” program that funds safety improvements, emergency repairs, highway preservation and operational highway upgrades. A significant portion of the funding for this program comes from SB 1.

Since SB 1 was signed into law April 2017, Caltrans has repaired or replaced 115 bridges and paved nearly 1,500 lane miles of the state highway system. In all, this year’s SB1 allocation will help fund $1.1 billion in projects along 133 state highways.

SB 1 invests approximately $5.4 billion per year to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California as well as strategically investing in transit. These funds are split equally between state and local projects and will allow Caltrans to fix more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts on the state highway system by 2027. 

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