State highway officials announced Friday they will launch 13 highway resurfacing projects this month – including one on Highway 50 outside Placerville – with upcoming funds from Senate Bill 1, the controversial gas taxes and fee increases recently approved by the legislature.
Caltrans announced it also will speed up construction start dates on 50 other road repair projects statewide, including five in the Sacramento region.
The listed projects involve mainly resurfacing on state highways throughout the state. They include an $8 million resurfacing project on Highway 50 between Rancho Cordova and El Dorado Hills, and repairs to Interstate 5 through Woodland, as well as road fixes near Vacaville, Winters, Rio Vista and Dixon.
The new Placerville resurfacing project will run from Weber Creek just west of the city to Carson Road.
SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, will increase the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon on Nov. 1 and hike the diesel tax by 20 cents per gallon. Higher registration fees kick in for motorists on Jan. 1.
The increases, approved this year by the state Legislature and signed in April by Gov. Jerry Brown, are expected to generate $54 billion over the next 10 years, mostly for road improvements. Some will go to pedestrian, bike and transit upgrades.
In a press statement issued Friday morning, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty described his department’s actions as a major mobilization.
“Caltrans is acting quickly to get to work,” he wrote. “This summer we will deploy construction teams across the state to resurface highways, improve safety for motorists and start filling more potholes than ever before.”
Republicans are pushing a ballot measure to repeal the taxes and fees, and have launched a recall effort against Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, who voted for it.
The California Transportation Commission, meanwhile, has been conducting hearings to determine how to spend the bulk of the tax and fee money.