The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) said Friday that approximately $80 billion will be necessary over the next 10 years to fund highway
infrastructure improvement projects.
Caltrans said that projected funding for the projects over the next 10 years will fall $60 billion short of the amounted needed.
“This funding shortfall presents a serious challenge to Caltrans and this state’s transportation system,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “At Caltrans, we have a 'fix it first' mentality, putting transportation dollars where they can be most cost-effective: on preventive maintenance to our existing infrastructure. Our maintenance dollars can only go so far, however, and California is facing much more expensive repairs to its infrastructure in the future due to a growing backlog of necessary repairs."
A majority of Caltrans funding comes from excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel and the growth in use and popularity of energy-efficient and alternative fuels has led to decreasing revenue in this area.
The Ten-Year State Highway Operation and Protection Program warns that without appropriate funding, highway deterioration will exacerbate the situation and will require more drastic and more expensive repairs. The state will evaluate other funding options that may include increased excise taxes or a mileage-based funding structure.