The California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, has chosen 90 transportation projects throughout the state to award a collective $41.6 million in its annual planning grants for fiscal year 2023-24.
These selected projects will help reduce pollution and increase natural disaster preparedness, according to a Caltrans press release. The press release also states that projects will improve state highway resiliency and safety.
“By working closely with local partners, we can maintain a sustainable, adaptable and resilient transportation system that will serve the people of California far into the future,” said Caltrans director Tony Tavares in the press release.
Fueled by “an infusion of state and federal investments,” the grants comprise $20.2 million for transportation and land use planning and electric vehicle charging infrastructure — including more than $8 million for bicycle and pedestrian safety — $18.1 million for climate adaptation planning and $3.3 million in Strategic Partnership Grants, according to the press release.
The final category covers plans for highway corridors, rural agriculture and highway safety, tourism, transit and other sustainability initiatives.
Caltrans District 4, which encompasses the Bay Area and covers Alameda County, received 11 of the awarded grants. Selected projects include a climate adaptation planning grant for the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, as listed on the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Award List.
“AC Transit will complete a Climate Resilience Plan because climate change and extreme weather have been negatively impacting AC Transit facilities and operations,” the project description reads.
Noted impacts include flooding at bus yards, stops and routes, in addition to disruptions of service due to trees felled by wind and blown debris.
The project description states that the climate resilience plan will assess how climate projections and extreme weather patterns will affect AC Transit assets and operations, develop strategies to adapt to these impacts and reduce associated risks.
This year saw 161 applications for sustainable transportation planning grants, according to the Caltrans grants webpage. The total funding requested was about $66.8 million.
Grants awarded in previous years, recorded on the same webpage, have grown from a total of $6.8 million in fiscal year 2017-18 to $22.2 million in fiscal year 2022-23; this year’s grants nearly double those awarded in the previous application cycle.