Caltrans News Release
March 24, 2017
Contact: Steven Shultz
Caltrans (619) 688-6670
Region’s Transportation Officials Highlight Imperial County Projects for 2017
EL CENTRO, Calif. – Caltrans hosted its annual Transportation Update event in Imperial County on Wednesday, featuring regional transportation experts providing a forecast and updates on infrastructure improvements, maintenance needs, funding challenges, and safety enforcement in the county for 2017.
Speakers included Caltrans District 11 Chief Deputy Director Cory Binns, Imperial County Transportation Commission Executive Director Mark Baza, and California Highway Patrol El Centro Area Sergeant Wes Boerner. They delivered comments, conducted one-on-one interviews with local media, and provided displays and resources covering transportation construction projects and improvements for the coming year.
The event was held at the new Caltrans El Centro Maintenance Facility in El Centro, which opened last December to provide an important base for Caltrans operations, equipment, and vehicles throughout Imperial County.
Binns introduced the Caltrans Major Construction Map for Imperial County in 2017 – located online at http://www.dot.ca.gov/d11/maps/MajConst_IMP.pdfh -- and highlighted some of the projects, including:
- Interstate 8 Update: http://www.dot.ca.gov/d11/projects/8CRCPavementProject.pdf
- Interstate 8/Dogwood Road Interchange in El Centro: http://www.dot.ca.gov/d11/projects/8Dogwood.pdf
- State Route 98 Widening in Calexico: http://www.dot.ca.gov/d11/projects/98Dogwood.pdf
Fact sheets for the above projects and others listed on the 2017 Major Construction Map, including versions in Spanish, are located online at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/d11/projects.
Binns also discussed the overall role and mission of Caltrans, the substantial amount of work handled by Caltrans maintenance crews in response to winter weather in Imperial County, and funding challenges faced by the state transportation system.
“Recent winter storms have put the results of deferred maintenance and underinvestment on stark display,” said Binns, “as evidenced by potholes and cracks in the pavement, bridge deck deterioration, wind-damaged freeway signs, and other infrastructure in need of repair.”
Caltrans estimates that the total cost of damage on the State Highway System by recent winter storms is approximately $800 million, with California facing some $6 billion in annual, unfunded maintenance needs for the state highway system. Binns added that state leaders need to identify a stable, long-term source of transportation funding … or else roads will continue to deteriorate. He pointed out that Caltrans does not delay needed safety or emergency response projects, which always have top priority for funding.
Binns concluded by reminding motorists to avoid driving while distracted or impaired; obey traffic laws; move over a lane if safe to do so for highway, safety and emergency workers; and “Be Work Zone Alert.”
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