Gov. Jerry Brown and legislatures are combing through a $6 billion funding package to offer relief for the entire state. (KFSN)
By Cory James
Friday, March 24, 2017 04:50PM
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With signs in their hands, Caltrans workers and local Central Valley leaders banded together, calling on lawmakers in Sacramento to pass a transportation funding measure to fix badly damaged roads.
Recent storms have made driving conditions worse, and lawmakers from Fresno, Madera and Kings Counties spent Friday morning urging the governor and legislature to pass a bill that will provide funding to repair highways and roads.
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislatures are combing through a $6 billion funding package to offer relief for the entire state. The bill would give the city and county of Fresno about $18 million a year for repairs.
Council member Esmeralda Soria says this would drastically help with the city's $250 million deferred street maintenance.
"We don't have enough funding to keep up with the maintenance and repairs that our infrastructure needs," Soria said.
Orville Thomas with California Alliance for Jobs is fighting to remind legislatures of that. And his team purchased five billboards on major freeways leading into the capital to make the message loud and clear.
"Right now, about 60 percent of California roads are at a failing grade, and we really want to make sure these roads are being addressed," he said.
Caltrans District 6 director Sharri Ehlert says previous transportation measures have helped, but adds the funding only goes so far.
"You've seen a lot of improvements along Highway 99 in those areas that we've invested with the Prop 1B," Ehlert explained. "That money is gone, they've been exhausted and so now with that, it's great we had a one-time infusion, but we need a more stable long-time funding source."
It's one that will not only repair roads and highways but create new jobs as well because the bill is being fine-tuned, it is unclear what this will cost taxpayers.
The deadline for passage of the funding bill is April 6.