October 29, 2018
Proposition 6: Rough Roads Ahead If California Repeals Its Gas Tax – Capital & Main
Beyond jeopardizing road repairs and mass transit, Prop. 6 would strike at the very nature of governance itself in the Golden State.
Protect road safety, vote No on Prop. 6 – Napa Valley Register
A measure on the November ballot puts the safety and quality of our roads and bridges at risk.
$1B freeway planned in California – ABC7
The new 16-mile freeway will start at an interchange on I-215 at Placentia Avenue and stretch eastward, eventually taking over the thoroughfare currently traversed by the Ramona Expressway. It will provide an alternative to State Route 60 to the north and State Route 74 to the south.
Judge tentatively rules against opponents of California high-speed rail project – ABC7
A judge has tentatively rejected arguments by the opponents of California’s high-speed rail project that the state is improperly spending voter-approved bond money. The lawsuit centers on a 2016 law passed by the California Legislature that allows some bond money to be spent on projects such as electrifying existing rail lines.
Why is Caltrans closing Tower Bridge? It’s sagging and needs new suspenders – The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento’s iconic Tower Bridge is 82 years old. With age, there’s sagging. Bridge inspectors last year noticed the cables that help lift the main span for tall ships have stretched 14 inches longer than they once were – a sign that time, weather, and stress have taken a toll. So the golden span is getting fitted with new suspenders.
October 25, 2018
Sweet contracts, tricky rules help California unions hold on after court loss – The Sacramento Bee
California public employee unions can celebrate a little good news in the months since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling that stripped them of millions of dollars in revenue and threatened their influence in the state: So far, workers are not leaving their unions in high numbers. In fact, some labor organizations are gaining members. Professional Engineers in California Government, for example, gained about 340 members, according to state payroll data. “PECG delivers,” said Ted Toppin, the union’s executive director. The union negotiated a two-year contract with a base raise of 8.5 percent and some sweeteners that included longevity pay for longtime workers. “PECG does deliver competitive pay, pension protection, the best health care in the state and job protection from outsourcing.”
Which California state worker unions gained members after Supreme Court’s Janus ruling? – The Sacramento Bee
PECG is among the state employee unions that have gained members since a key legal ruling ended so-called “fair share” fees last summer. Overall, unions that represent California state employees defied expectations and notched a slight increase in total membership after the Supreme Court in June handed down the Janus decision that dealt government labor organizations a serious financial blow.
Gas tax repeal lacks ‘momentum’ in new poll of California voters – Merced Sun-Star
A high-profile initiative to repeal the recent increase to gasoline and diesel taxes continues to lag with likely California voters. Just 41 percent plan to vote for Proposition 6, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California, while 48 percent are opposed. That result is similar to a PPIC survey last month, when the measure trailed 39 percent to 52 percent among likely voters.
A wake-up call for investment in America’s transportation infrastructure – The Seattle Times
Recently, the world learned yet again that inadequate investment in infrastructure — roads, bridges, tunnels, and railways — can have tragic consequences. This time, those consequences befell the people of Genoa, Italy, where the collapse of a 51-year-old bridge killed 43 people. Polling shows U.S. taxpayers want money invested to restore the nation’s public transit systems to a state of good repair would create 162,000 new jobs and generate over $180 billion in economic activity over a six-year period.
October 22, 2018
Sacramento’s roadways are in bad shape and getting worse, study says – The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento has some of the worst urban roadways in the nation, a recent study shows. About 41 percent of the Sacramento area’s roads are rated in “poor condition,” according to a report on urban road quality released Wednesday by nonprofit research group TRIP. That ranks No. 12 among the 20 large urban areas (population 500,000 or higher) with the nation’s most deteriorated roads and highways.
Will Brown get chance to defend pension reform? – Calpensions
A case challenging part of Gov. Brown’s 2013 pension reform law — which some think could result in a major ruling allowing unprecedented public pension cuts — will not be heard by the State Supreme Court until the first week of December, at the earliest. With a new governor taking office on Jan. 7, time is running out for the Brown administration to make oral arguments in the case.
California, U.S. environmental agencies are in talks with Volvo over emissions issue – Reuters
An issue with catalytic converters are causing some of Volvo’s vehicles to exceed nitrogen oxide emission limits. Over the last few weeks, the California Air Resources Board and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have been communicating with the car manufacturer about the problem to develop plans to quickly address the situation.
Redondo Beach officially opposes Prop. 6 – The Beach Reporter
Redondo Beach city council has taken a formal stance against Proposition 6, the November 2018 statewide ballot measure to repeal transportation funds generated by fuel and vehicle taxes implemented by legislature in 2017. Redondo is set to receive $1.2 million in state funding from the bill during fiscal year 2018-2019 and more than $19.3 million over the first ten years of the program, Public Works Director Ted Semaan said in an administrative report.
October 18, 2018
Vote ‘no’ on Prop. 6 — funding needed for California roads, transit – San Francisco Chronicle
On Nov. 6 you will face a choice: A choice between a future of clogged and worsening roads or one that offers relief from endless traffic jams and bridges in need of repair. This future hinges on the outcome of Proposition 6, an initiative that seeks to repeal the $54 billion in transportation improvement projects that have been made possible due to the passage of Senate Bill 1 in 2017. This landmark law is responsible for 6,500 projects in California moving forward, offering safer travel, reducing gridlock and improving transit operations.
Industry Fuels Battle to Stop California’s Anti-Tax Prop. 6 – Engineering News-Record
More than 500 groups and organizations have united through the group California Alliance for Jobs to defeat Prop 6, says Associated General Contractors of California CEO Peter Tateishi. “It’s a huge coalition of people who don’t usually come together on issues.” Prop 6 is a “grave threat” to transportation infrastructure funding, says Emily Cohen, executive vice president of the 300-member United Contractors, which contributed $9 million to opposing it. “These projects would be fighting for general monies or relying on bonds to fix our roads forever.”
Redondo Beach officially opposes Prop. 6 – The Beach Reporter
Redondo Beach city has taken a formal stance against Proposition 6, the November 2018 statewide ballot measure to repeal transportation funds generated by fuel and vehicle taxes implemented by legislature in 2017.
High-Speed Rail moves forward in Bakersfield – KGET
Another portion of the high-speed rail project was voted on in Bakersfield Tuesday. Folks from the High-Speed Rail Authority calling it, “a major step forward.”
October 15, 2018
9 Months after Montecito Disaster, 7 Key Bridges in Various Stages of Rebuilding – Noozhawk
The flash flooding and debris flows that thundered through Montecito early on Jan. 9 destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes while killing 23 people. Now roads and bridges in the area are getting priority attention from Caltrans and its contractors.
Major projects at risk if voters kill California gas tax hike, officials say – San Francisco Chronicle
With the clock ticking toward the Nov. 6 election, state and local officials are frantically battling Proposition 6, a measure to repeal the 12-cent per gallon gas tax increase that state legislators passed last year as Senate Bill 1. At risk, they say, are more than 400 transit infrastructure projects with plans shelved, construction frozen in place and millions of taxpayer dollars vaporized.
Prop. 6 is an attack on our roads and highways – Ventura County Star
The first factor in keeping our roads safe is a driver who is alert, sober and completely engaged in the rules of the road. The second safety factor is well-maintained local streets, highways and railroad crossings. We can each take care of the first factor by driving with no distractions. But the second factor — the condition of our roads and highways — is under attack from Proposition 6 on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Caltrans warns road improvement projects could be delayed, canceled if CA’s gas tax is repealed – ABC 7
There’s a dire warning from the state of California to just about anyone who owns a car: major road repair and improvement projects could be in jeopardy if voters repeal California’s gas tax in November.
Bridge shake test is part of earthquake engineering research for Caltrans – Nevada Today
The massive “shake table” at the University of Nevada, Reno, symbolizes a partnership with Caltrans to test innovative bridge designs that are quick to construct, stand up better against big earthquakes and, when damaged, can be easily repaired.
October 11, 2018
Prop 6 Mailer Made to Look Like Official Ballot ‘Correction’ – NBC 7 San Diego
Reform California, the group that wants to repeal the gas tax, sent out millions of leaflets, which some believe are deceptive. Critics are calling it misleading and deceptive – a new Prop 6 political ad “pretending” to be an official correction to the sample ballots. Two million ads were sent by mail in the past few days.
SPUR Talk: Prop. 6 Would Make State Fall Apart – Streetsblog SF
Is California poised to bankrupt its transportation system? A host of projects across the state, from basic road repairs to Caltrain electrification, could screech to a halt if voters approve Proposition 6, an attempt to repeal Senate Bill 1 (S.B. 1), last year’s 12-cent gas tax increase.
45,000 state workers will get a new family medical benefit next year – The Sacramento Bee
Tens of thousands of California state employees are expected to gain a new benefit next year that will let them take paid time off if they have a baby or must care for a family member experiencing a medical emergency. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is expanding paid family leave to about 45,000 managers and supervisors who are not represented by unions, according to a Sept. 24 memo from state Human Resources Director Adria Jenkins-Jones.
Gavin Newsom says he would scale back the bullet train and twin tunnels if elected – Los Angeles Times
If Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is elected governor as expected, he’ll keep building the state’s two contentious public works projects: the bullet train and twin water tunnels. But he’ll scale back both. Newsom will concentrate on completing a high-speed rail line from the San Joaquin Valley to the San Francisco Bay Area. As for the beleaguered water project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Newsom will try to reduce its size to one tunnel.
California High Speed Rail’s Plan for the Future – Streetsblog SF
The California High-Speed Rail Authority is striving to get some kind of starter service — from Silicon Valley to the San Joaquin Valley — operational by 2029, and maybe even a service that connects with Amtrak’s San Joaquin lines as early as 2026. The hope is that once a useful service is operational and heavily used, it will be easier to realize the completion of the entire project from Los Angeles to the Bay Area.
October 9, 2018
California candidates for governor clash over transportation issues – KTVU
With less than a month before the November election, transportation issues, such as how to pay for repairs to California’s crumbing roads and bridges, and the value of the state’s high-speed rail project, have put gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox at odds.
Anti-gas tax mailer ‘corrects’ ballot question – ABC 10
A new political ad could be masquerading as an official correction to the sample ballots that hit mailboxes across San Diego.
CalPERS President Loses Her Board Seat – Chief Investment Officer
The president of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System board has been unseated by a Southern California police officer who ran an election campaign questioning the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment policies of the nation’s largest retirement plan.
Why did road under FIU bridge stay open? Federal judge blocks release of records – Miami Herald
A federal judge Friday blocked the release of documents that could shed light on why a busy road outside Miami was not shut down before a brand-new bridge developing severe cracks collapsed and killed six people.
October 4, 2018
California releases infrastructure report card – KTVU
In the American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest report card, California’s bridges and transit receive C- grades and its roads received a D. In the introduction to the California report, ASCE urged residents to vote against Proposition 6 in the upcoming November election, asserting that passage would hurt the state’s ability to fund infrastructure.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao formalizes Interstate 5 grant. SB 1 funds still needed. – The Signal
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao came to the Santa Clarita Valley on Monday to present a $47 million federal grant to Metro to build truck lanes and extend carpool lanes running through the Santa Clarita Valley. But a local official says that if California voters approve Proposition 6 – the November ballot measure that would cut off $5 billion in annual state infrastructure funding – the project would be dead despite the federal money.
Garcetti urges voters to reject Proposition 6 – Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined business and labor leaders Wednesday to urge voters to reject Proposition 6, saying a repeal of the state’s new gas tax could force years-long delays for dozens of transportation projects across Southern California.
A Race to the Finish on Oroville Dam Spillway Fix– Engineering News-Record
Seemingly chaotic but actually highly choreographed and sequenced, the $1.1-billion Lake Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery Project moves at an ultra-fast-track pace for one important reason: to repair the structures in time to protect cities, farmland and hundreds of thousands of people downstream of Oroville Dam before Northern California’s rainy season begins in November.
October 1, 2018
Editorial: Vote no on Prop. 6 and yes for roads – Ventura County Star
The latest polling on Proposition 6 reveals much about the gas tax and registration fee increases that the measure seeks to rescind. Asked generally about the gas tax increase, 50 percent of those polled by the Public Policy Institute of California said they support repealing it, while only 46 percent oppose it. But when pollsters read the actual ballot title to folks, the results flip — only 39 percent support Prop. 6 and 52 percent oppose it. Why? Because the Prop. 6 title begins, “Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding.”
Editorial: Prop. 6 would put traffic solutions in reverse – Monterey Herald
If you drive a vehicle, you already know how bad our roads are. California’s roads are ranked as some of the worst in the country. Traffic congestion is driving many local residents crazy. That’s why last year, state lawmakers approved SB 1, a 12 cents per gallon increase in the gas tax. Proposition 6 is a November ballot initiative that would repeal the gas tax increase — and would send efforts to finally deal with our crumbling roads, highways, bridges and transit alternatives into a jolting reverse.
What could derail ACE’s arrival in Modesto? Prop 6 and those backing it – The Modesto Bee
The Altamont Corridor Express started 20 years ago backed by a joint powers authority and funded by a sales tax increase in San Joaquin County, whose residents suffer from some of America’s longest commutes. ACE ridership has doubled in the last six years to 5,000 a day, 1.3 million annually. It’s one of the fastest-growing train lines in the country. But if Proposition 6 passes, much-needed expansion of the ACE line will be threatened.
Campaign to repeal gas tax short of cash as California Republican leaders focus funds on other contests – Los Angeles Times
Top Republicans in California appear to be shifting resources away from an issue they hoped would lure voters to the polls in November: repealing the gas tax. Construction firms, organized labor and Democrats have raised more than $30 million to defeat Proposition 6, while the main campaign committee in favor of the measure had just $83,291 in the bank as of Sept. 22, according to campaign finance statements made public Thursday.
Deadline nears for Oroville Dam spillway concrete placement – Chico Enterprise-Record
The state Department of Water Resources still expects to meet its quickly approaching Nov. 1 deadline to have all concrete placed on the Oroville Dam’s main spillway.
Trump signs bill requiring independent inspection of Oroville Dam – Chico Enterprise-Record
The U.S. Senate pushed forward a bill on Thursday that would require an independent risk analysis of the Oroville Dam, following a meeting last month between Butte County supervisors and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.