First, the good news: Caltrans has more money to fix potholes and deteriorating pavement on highways.
Now, the bad news: It will likely mean more delays on local highways when the work gets underway.
The money comes from the 12-cent gas tax motorists are paying for fuel under Senate Bill 1, approved earlier this year for transportation improvements statewide.
The initial projects will start later this summer. In Fresno, $2 million in pavement replacement is planned for nearly four miles on Highway 99 between Olive Avenue and the California Avenue overcrossing.
About 13 miles of Highway 59 also will be resurfaced this summer from the Madera-Merced counties line to Merced.
The projects were moved into a list of fast-track projects by Caltrans because the winter rains brought more potholes in addition to the normal wear and tear to the pavement, said Cory Burkarth, a Caltrans spokesman in Fresno.
We can accelerate design of these projects, starting design work this year instead of next year.
Matt Rocco, Sacramento-based Caltrans spokesman.
The two projects are among 13 across the state getting underway this summer.
Another $13 million in local projects in Fresno, Tulare and Madera counties also are moving more quickly into design for construction next spring.
The resurfacing projects are planned along Highways 99, 180, 168, 190, 145, 63 and 152.
“We can accelerate design of these projects, starting design work this year instead of next year,” said Matt Rocco, a Sacramento-based Caltrans spokesman.
Caltrans said Friday the agency is “fast-tracking” road repairs across the state, jump-starting repairs because money is now available after passage of the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 earlier this year.
The total cost of road repairs being accelerated statewide is $285 million.