Senator Runner will Author Transportation Legislation Geared to Building Roads Quicker
(SACRAMENTO) — As transportation gridlock worsens and exploding population growth threatens to exacerbate the crisis, Senator George Runner (R- Santa Clarita/Antelope Valley) has introduced two legislative measures that will provide drivers with new roads without years and years of bureaucratic delay.
Senate Bill 705 is a part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s GoCalifornia transportation package. It allows Cal-Trans to utilize the design-build process when procuring new transportation projects. Under design-build, a single contractor is selected to complete both the project design and construction under one agreement, thus streamlining the process.
“Design-build will streamline the process and allow for the timely construction and delivery of transportation projects,” Runner said. “Our commuters deserve congestion relief sooner rather than later.”
Currently, Cal-Trans employs the time-consuming design-bid-build process, whereby Cal-Trans engineers design a project and then award a construction contract to a private bidder. This results in unnecessary delays and cost overruns, as the designer and builder lack a “team” atmosphere and are often in disagreement over various aspects of the project.
Senate Bill 561 authorizes Cal-Trans to engage in public/private partnerships for the construction of new toll roads. These contractual agreements will allow private firms to finance the construction and maintenance of new roads and charge drivers a toll to recoup their investment.
“At a time when the state’s investment in highways is slowly waning, we must look outside the box to address California’s urgent transportation needs,” Runner said. “This innovative solution can deliver new roads and highways with little or no cost to the state and provide more options for motorists.”