California’s transportation infrastructure is crumbling. According to the 2011 Statewide Transportation Needs Assessment, the cost to preserve and rehabilitate the state’s transportation system between 2011 and 2020 is approximately $341.1 billion. Over the same period, the cost of system management and expansion projects is estimated at $197 billion.
The California Transportation Commission also reported in 2011 that there are $10.8 billion in unmet transportation infrastructure needs in San Diego County, and $9.1 billion in Riverside County. We simply don’t have the money to maintain and rebuild California’s transportation infrastructure. Yet we are planning to spend at least $67 billion on a high speed rail project few will use.
Consequently, I have joined my Republican colleagues to reaffirm our commitment to putting California Jobs First by investing in transportation infrastructure projects that will create up to 108,000 new jobs statewide. Under this proposal, the voters will be asked to reconsider the fate of high-speed rail; should the funds continue to be wasted on creating a legacy for Governor Brown, or should they be used to build and repair highways, bridges and ports?
Our proposal makes lemonade out of lemons by taking money slated to be wasted and using it to rebuild California’s transportation network. By re-directing high-speed rail funds to more pressing infrastructure needs and by dedicating gas tax dollars to state and local transportation projects as originally intended, we will reinvigorate our weak economy, reduce congestion and create jobs.
By Calif. State Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-75th District)