Caltrans Generates $233M to Reinvest in State Highways
Caltrans has released its SB 1 Annual Efficiencies Report for fiscal year 2018-2019, noting that its efficiency measures saved nearly $233 million — more than double the statutory goal of $100 million per year. These funds will be reinvested to maintain and rehabilitate state highways.
The report is required under California’s SB 1 transportation funding bill, also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which generates $5.4 billion annually for the state’s transportation system. SB 1 mandates that Caltrans implement efficiency measures with the goal of generating at least $100 million in annual savings to be reinvested into the State Highway System. The legislation requires that Caltrans report these efficiency savings to the California Transportation Commission annually.
Governor Gavin Newsom praised the agency. “Californians rightly expect an effective government that delivers on projects and protects taxpayer investments,” he said, noted that Caltrans had done just that. “The voters entrusted us with billions to invest in roads and transportation, and we must be good stewards of this important funding. In more than doubling the savings through efficiencies, we’re proving that the state can find innovative ways to lower costs in delivering highway projects and pump those savings back into fixing roads to benefit our economy.”
“Well maintained roadways decrease commute times, reduce wear and tear on vehicles and allow for the efficient transportation of goods,” said California Transportation Secretary David S. Kim. “Through innovative strategies that include using more durable materials, accelerating critical construction projects and continuous process improvements, Caltrans is working smarter while being a good steward of public funds.”
In reaching nearly $233 million in savings this year, Caltrans implemented innovative contracting tools, including accelerating work, independent contract evaluations and advance mitigation credits; process improvements, such as value analysis and streamlining environmental review; and the use of new technologies, including highly reflective striping materials, mobile field devices to reduce the time spent traveling between job sites and field offices for reporting.
The first Annual Efficiencies Report, for fiscal year 2017-18, identified $133 million in savings, which also exceeded the goal of generating at least $100 million in savings.
Looking ahead, Caltrans says it is evaluating new opportunities for potential savings in future years, as it “continues to evaluate and deploy new technologies, innovative tools, and process improvements to identify efficiencies.”